In this simple explanation of Ramadan, a little boy explains that he will be fasting for the first time. He describes eating breakfast before sunrise, saying special prayers and attending his Islamic school where he makes a calendar and tries to ignore his hunger. After sunset, his family washes their hands and starts the meal with a date, just as Mohammed did with his followers on Ramadan. He visits the mosque during the month and at the end, celebrates Eid al-Fitr with parties and presents. The richly patterned collage and mixed-media pictures will appeal to young children. A double-paged spread with many races and national groups illustrates the diversity of the Muslim world. The book appears to take place in the U.S. (the family eats “buttery eggs, toast, fluffy pancakes, fresh berries, and orange juice” for breakfast), but the mention of assembling in a “town square” for Eid al-Fitr doesn’t quite seem to fit. While more details would be useful, the text is appropriate as an introduction. (author’s note) (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8050-7894-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2007

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The book lacks the engaging hook of the popular song, but the illustrations (mostly) charm.


Oliver and his monkey, Leo, set off on a quest to discover a mysterious, beautiful name in this picture book inspired by the chart-topping worship song of the same name.

When young Oliver hears his mother singing one day, the lyrics of the song “What a Beautiful Name” noodle into his brain. Who or what is this beautiful name? It can only mean one thing: time for an adventure. In their bright yellow rocket ship, Oliver and his trusty sidekick, Leo, jet off over mountains, an ocean, a jungle, a desert, and into outer space and back in search of the mysterious name. Along the way they discover that the name must be not only beautiful, but wonderful and powerful as well. Yet the name they seek is found not in the glory of creation but safe at home in Oliver’s very own Bible. The use of a rocket as their primary mode of transport is a somewhat confusing choice given their largely terrestrial destinations. It is also not entirely clear how Oliver comes to understand the wonder, power, and beauty of the name of Jesus on the basis of his journey. Nevertheless, the rhyme keeps things moving while Scott Ligertwood’s illustrations, reminiscent of Oliver Jeffers’ style, enchant. Oliver presents White, so the choice of an unspeaking monkey sidekick is a regrettable one, given stereotypical associations of monkeys with Black people. Aftermatter prints the lyrics in full and includes a note for parents and scriptural references for those lyrics. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9.5-by-19-inch double-page spreads viewed at 18.5% of actual size.)

The book lacks the engaging hook of the popular song, but the illustrations (mostly) charm. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-19270-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: WaterBrook

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff.


From the Littlest series

The smallest bunny in Easter Town finds that she and her little chick friend are big enough to help the Easter Bunny prepare for the annual Easter egg hunt.

In the fifth entry in the Littlest series, Penny the bunny wants to help get ready for Easter. All the rabbits in her family are busy with their special jobs, getting eggs, candy, and baskets in order, but little Penny seems too small or clumsy to be of any help. Her parents and siblings try to let her assist them, but she falls into a vat of dye, spills marshmallow goo, gets tangled in the strands of a basket, and fails to fill even one Easter basket. Feeling dejected, Penny befriends a tiny chick named Peck. With the help of Penny’s family, Penny and Peck make miniature treats and petite baskets suitable to their own size. When the Easter Bunny’s main helpers fall ill, Penny and Peck convince the Easter Bunny that their small size will help them do the best job of finding spots to hide eggs as well as their own tiny basket creations. This too-pat conclusion doesn’t quite hold up to logical analysis, as the full-size eggs and baskets are still too large for Penny and Peck to handle. Bland cartoon illustrations are filled with bunnies in candy-bright pastels with a greeting-card cuteness quotient.

Sweet, but like marshmallow chicks, just a bit of fluff. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-32912-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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