Book Reviews

Want to know what professional writers think of our books? Check out the book reviews below!

Read Little Muslims

This book tells the story of Umar Ibn Khattab, the second caliph in Islam and holder of the title, Al Farooq.

The Young Man's Plan

At first glance, this book is pleasing to the eye. The illustrations are bright and eye-catching but facial features have been avoided. This however, does not take away from the appeal of the book, as it is still bright with plenty of detail for conversation starters. The text is clear and concise and written in poetic narrative. It is targeted at ages 5-11 and with that in mind it needs to be clear enough for a young reader, which it definitely is.

It is written as “the tale of a fearless young man” and starts off introducing the young man’s plot. It catches your interest immediately, which is fantastic for young readers, as they need to be attracted and interested in the stories from the start. It goes on to tell the story of how he wanted to carry out a plot to harm the Prophet SAW. The repetition of the main refrain serves as a way to emphasize the nature of the terrible act and also to create a tense suspense, even for those familiar with the story. As the suspense builds, so too does the readers interest, to the point where it becomes an actual page-turner till we know what finally happens when he reaches his destination.

ReadLittleMuslimsReview

It is not an easy feat to pull off a well-written poetic story but the author, in a few short pages, has successfully told a very complex story and has put forth a multitude of emotions through cleverly selected words and style.

I can see just how useful this book will be for parents and teachers trying to explain to their children a somewhat complex and difficult story, and how the story will stick in the minds of our young children. This is a fantastic resource to back up and reinforce other teaching material and I look forward to future publications from this author and publisher.

A highly recommended resource for parents and teachers, which I’m sure, will prove to be indispensable in all teaching facilities.

Cross-posted from http://www.readlittlemuslims.com/book-review-the-young-mans-plan/

Loise Anderson - Sisters Magazine

This is the first in a new series, Tales from the Lives of the Companions, by SISTERS writer R S Khan.  The poetic narrative tells the story of ‘Umar ibn ul-Khattab, from his plot to kill the Prophet SAW, to his conversion to Islam on hearing the Qur’an at his sister and brother-in-law’s house.

The text reads smoothly without awkward rhythm, and the rhymes do not seem contrived, as I have sometimes found in some children’s books using poetry. The refrain regarding ‘Umar’s original plot contrasts the final outcome of the story, and with this surprising ending, is a satisfying story for children – the subtle suspense is thoroughly engaging.

The illustrations, by N Pilavci,  are rich and vibrant, and the characters are illustrated without facial features, but in a natural way. There are no pictures of the Prophet SAW.

I think this book would be suitable from around ages 7 to 12, the author having aimed it at school-age children. The amount of text on each page is not lengthy, but there are words incorporated that will expand a child’s vocabulary e.g. deny, sincere.  Younger children may need to hear the story several times to completely understand it, but then this will be easy enough as children usually want stories read again and again to them!

My own children (aged 8 and 11) liked the illustrations and felt they’d learned something from the story. Despite the nature of ‘Umar ibn ul-Khattab’s plan, the author has kept it suitable for younger children, avoiding vocabulary such as ‘kill’. My older son, nicknamed at home as ‘granddad’ due to his maturity and  protectiveness, thought that some (faint-hearted) children could be scared due to the swords and impending plot, but said of course he wasn’t, nor was my younger daughter! This did not even occur to me, especially given the modern day exposure to ‘scary’ games and stories that most children experience.

This is a book where you can feel you and your children are having fun while learning about Islam and the seerah, rather than the rather dry texts that are mostly available. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Lisha Azad - Muslimas Oasis

A book review by Lisha Azad

“To harm a great prophet
Who was kind and sincere.
What a terrible plot!
What an evil idea!”

The rhythmic words chanted repeatedly throughout the book are immediately catchy and emphasize the main theme of the story: the young man’s plan. As a mother in Islam, it’s a valuable story I want my children to know.

RS Khan’s The Young Man’s Plan is a story of Sahabi ‘Umar ibn ul Khattab (may Allah be pleased with Him), one of the most distinguished and well-loved Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who planned to kill the Prophet as Islam began to spread widely in Makkah. It’s only her debut book but in a few expressive paragraphs, RS Khan skillfully sums up the story of the determined and courageous young man who went on to become a great follower and leader of Islam and who was ultimately bestowed the title of Al Farooq, the one who can tell right from wrong.

While my 9-year-old son was fascinated by the story, the illustrations held the attention of my 3-year-old. Vivid, colourful sketches very beautifully bring to life the poetic rendition of the change of heart this man experienced and the complete transformation he underwent upon accepting Islam. Facial features and expressions have been avoided in the sketches and even though the story unfolds in the barren desert landscape, the visual appeal this book holds cannot be disregarded. The pages are in full-colour and the focus is on the young man and his determination can be felt intensely in the way he is depicted marching forward to carry out his plan.

The Young Man's Plan - The first in a series of Islamic stories for kids! - www.MuslimasOasis.com

The first in a series of tales from the lives of the Companions of our beloved Prophet, this book also features a colouring activity book to accompany it. Future publication plans include at least 4 similar rhyming picture books with tales based on the lives of the Companions accompanied by colouring books and workbooks insha’Allah, to further the understanding of children and to provide them with fun activities through which they can learn more about the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and other Islamic topics.

The author

RS Khan has been a writer for SISTERS magazine for a number of years, mainly writing for the inspiration section, in which she normally shares her personal experiences in order to, bi idhni Allah, bring benefit other sisters. But sensing the gap in Islamic literature for Muslim kids that provide a fun and balanced way of learning about Islam, she and her husband recently set up Education Enriched, an Islamic publishing company with the aim to publish books that inspire young Muslim children with true stories from the Seerah.

Beginning with this series, they look forward to publishing a high-quality set of books with stories that really can inspire Muslim children to become like the most exemplary Muslims of the past in a fun and interesting manner. The Young Man’s Plan looks all set to fulfill this aim by encouraging Muslim children across cultures and communities by being an invaluable aid in instilling love in their hearts for those who were closest to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).

Cross-posted from http://www.muslimasoasis.com/2014/12/islamic-stories-for-kids-young-mans-plan/