Books by Patty Gallinger

Released: Feb. 1, 2001

Khan, a Canadian Muslim who has written about Afghanistan in The Roses in My Carpets (1998), now seeks to engage youngsters in learning about Islam and the everyday lives of Muslim children around the world for the purpose of teaching greater tolerance and understanding. In combining stories, poems, and activities with informational sidebars about religious practice and quotations from the sayings of Muhammad and the Quran, she has created a primer, a children's guide to Islam and its five pillars of faith. The eight short stories portray Muslim children in different countries, including the US, Canada, England, Pakistan, and Nigeria. "Lost at Hajj" features a Black child from New York City who is making the pilgrimage to Mecca with his parents. "Azeeza's First Fast" and "Jumbo Jelly Shoes" are about children's difficulties in meeting their religious obligations, such as observing the fast during the month of Ramadan or eating the proper foods. Other stories are about holiday celebrations or the history of Islam. The three poems are less successful, with their pedestrian language and overt messages of peace and harmony. Gallinger's pencil illustrations realistically depict the diversity of the children in the stories and focus on many cultural details. There is a chronology of Muhammad's life, a listing of the prophets, many who are also honored in Judaism and Christianity, and a pronunciation guide with transliterations and Arabic calligraphy. The earnest tone of the stories, coupled with the author's respectful inclusion of the phrase "peace be upon him" after mentioning any of the prophets, may be off-putting to some readers, but teachers, librarians, group leaders, and parents will find this a very useful resource. (Nonfiction. 7-10)Read full book review >