Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The White Nights of Ramadan

The White Nights of Ramadan

Maha Addasi
Illustrator:  Ned Gannon 
For ages 5 to 7
Boyds Mills Press, 2008   ISBN: 978-1590785232

The moon is rising and Noor and her brothers are excited. The middle of Ramadan and the special Girgian festival is almost here. With much chatter Noor and her family make special sweets, which they wrap up in cellophane. Then Noor and her brother, Sam and Dan,decorate canvas bags using colored paints, beads, and ribbons. After her bag is complete Noor tries on her festive red dress to see how it looks. It will be perfect for the celebrations of the following day.

That night Noor has a hard time sleeping and she and the whole family are up before dawn. During the day Noor tries to keep busy until, at last, the sun sets and Noor is able to break the Ramadan fast. Then the entire family gets dressed in their festive clothes and the children hang their decorated bags at their waists. Now Noor, Sam, and Dan are finally ready to go out into the streets to get treats from the neighbors.

In this book the author gives her readers a picture of what it is like to celebrate Ramadan in the Persian Gulf. Girgian is the night when children are given candy, much in the same way that American children are given sweet things on Halloween night. Readers will not only find out about this special night, but they will also get a sense of what Ramadan means to people of the Muslim faith.

At the back of the book the author has included an informative author's note and a glossary.