Night of the Moon
Author: Hena Khan
Illustrator: Julie Paschkis
Source: Local Library
Yasmeen is very excited, because her favorite holiday is starting. Her family is getting ready for a month of feasting, community events, and togetherness, also known as Ramadan.
If non-Muslim kids know about Ramadan at all, they know it as that time when you're not allowed to eat during the day. Night of the Moon brings a very important Muslim holiday to joyous life by focusing on the family and community aspects of the celebration. Yasmeen's family move from dinner at home to parties at the mosque to food for the hungry to barbeque parties--all after sunset, of course, but if anything they are more meaningful because they've been delayed.
Paschkis weaves motifs from Islamic countries throughout her richly colored illustrations. Borders reflect traditional tile or plaster patterns in Moorish, Egyptian, Persian, African and other traditions. Elements within the illustrations pick up the same style.
My favorite part of this whole warm, lovely book was that the illustrations represented a wide range of ethnicities. Yasmeen's community includes faces that are brown and pink and every shade in between, reflecting the diversity of Islam in America. There's even a range of devotion shown--some women wear the hijab, or head-scarf, and some don't. A short author's note after the story gives a few more details and definitions, but nothing overwhelming.
What an awesome book to share with your kids, either to teach them about a holiday that their friends might be celebrating or to affirm their own experiences.