Picture books are a wonderful way to help students learn about the world around them. Today, I have picture books to help celebrate Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Here are my favorite Ramadan books!
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Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi
In Lailah’s Lunchbox, Lailah is excited to finally be old enough to fast during Ramadan. However, her family recently moved from Abu Dhabi to Georgia and she is missing her friends back in the Middle East. Lailah is nervous to participate in Ramadan when no one in her class knows what it is and she is the only one fasting. She finds refuge in the school library and gets some wonderful advice from her librarian.
Lailah’s Lunchbox is based on the author’s own life and she shares her more in the author’s note at the end.
The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard
In The Gift of Ramadan, Sophia really wants to fast for Ramadan this year. She approaches her first day with enthusiasm, only to find it harder than she thought it would be to maintain her fast. She tries to keep busy throughout the day so she won’t think about food. But when the smell of cookies is too much, she breaks her fast early. Has Sophia ruined everything, or is Ramadan about more than just fasting?
Under My Hijab by Hena Khan
While Under My Hijab isn’t about Ramadan, it provides a friendly introduction to hijabs for readers. A young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way. She also dreams of the possibilities of her own future and how she will express her own personality through her hijab.
Under My Hijab is a celebration of Muslim women and girls who chose to wear them. It includes back matter with more information about the hijab.
In My Mosque by M.O. Yuksel
In My Mosque is a wonderful introduction to the community you might find inside a mosque. No matter who you are or where you are from, everyone is welcome here. From grandmothers reading lines of the Qur’an and the imam telling stories of living as one, to meeting new friends and learning to help others. Mosques are centers for friendship, community and love.
The text is simple and inviting with stunning illustrations. In My Mosque also has extensive back matter about notable mosques around the world.
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali
The Proudest Blue is an empowering and celebratory book of Muslim girls who are hijabis. Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It is the start of a new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
The Proudest Blue is the type of book of book that will help kids feel seen, and help other kids become more understanding. This story includes important Authors’ Notes at the end.
What are your favorite Ramadan books?
Also, coming up soon is AAPI Heritage Month! Check out these Asian American & Pacific Islander read aloud books to share in your classroom.
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