Wharnsby, a poet and musician, offers a collection of modern poems and songs for Muslim children everywhere.
He combines religious thoughts with contemporary concerns and incorporates universal principles of truth, peace and faith. The book includes poems about the celebration of Ramadan, the need to submit to Allah’s will, and Islamic racial diversity. Arabic phrases are woven into the poems and appear in the glossary. Detailed paintings are full of everyday activities, children in many different modes of dress, natural landscapes and cityscapes from many countries. There is always something to explore, especially in the double-page spreads devoted to the title poem, “Colours of Islam,” and “Sing, Children of the World.” The intent of the sentimental poetry is sometimes awkwardly expressed: “Our busy little lives can make us crazy, / and it’s so easy to get stuck in a routine.” The occasional typo may cause readers to stumble. The accompanying CD is more dynamic than the text, using chanting, folk rhythms, different voices and instruments. Royalties are given to an educational trust, supervised by the writer.
The book’s heart is in the right place, and readers who use it with the CD should enjoy it. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)