Growing up I remember saving up my money for a Highlights subscription. If you’re unfamiliar with Highlights, it’s a children’s magazine that features stories, games, crafts, recipes, puzzles, and loads of other fun things. I remember the anticipation I felt each month awaiting the arrival of the magazine. Once I had it in my hands, I would immerse myself in it for hours. Each day I would soak up everything between the covers until the next issue arrived and I memorized it from beginning to end.
All those years ago, I remember wishing that there was something that represented Islam inside. It covered Christmas and Hanukkah crafts, but never Ramadan and Eid. There was a section where reader submitted art was featured. I remember scouring the names for anything ethnic sounding. I wanted to relate so badly. I wanted to fit in and find my place in this magazine I loved so dearly. Eventually my subscription expired, but not my wish for having something to represent me as a Muslim child.
I remember when I first heard about the Islamic Children’s books, Noor Kids. I was so excited for my girls! I’m constantly striving to give them the things I wish I had for myself. Always wanting to give them a better life and more opportunities. We were currently subscribed to High Five, which is an extension of Highlights magazine, but targeted for younger kids. It was by chance that I was able to score a complimentary set of Noor Kids books through my work with AmericanMuslimMom.com.
I was eager to get my hands on the copies. I couldn’t wait to dive in with the girls and explore these great new magazine style books. Once we received the books I instantly fell in love with the covers! I greatly appreciated the nod to the Islamic art motifs I love so dearly. High quality art is a must when it comes to children’s reading material. I strongly believe that we should surround our kids with beauty. Just as the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty.”
There as so many things I loved about the books. Each one offered a different theme with sweet little stories and discussion questions. Plus there were different style interactive pages in each book. Each girl liked the books for different reasons. I’ve even found Baby Z sitting and flipping through the colorful pages. It’s Maysoon by far who had the biggest attachment to the books. She wouldn’t leave the house without her books. “Where are my Noor Kids?!” She’s even thrown a tantrum or two when she can’t locate them! Once they’re back in her hands, she’s super content.
In my opinion, I would love if these books more closely followed the Highlights magazine. By that I mean I wish in every issue there were specific features that appeared each time; crafts, recipes, reader submitted work, Muslims around the world (a collaboration with Peter Gould’s Kids of the Ummah, would be awesome!), interesting puzzles/games, etc. It’s not necessarily that I felt the books were lacking, it’s just that we enjoyed the books so much that we were left wanting more!
These books are definitely a huge step in the right direction. A venture that I strongly support and am hopeful to see grow. I love that my girls (and future generations) have quality reading material that’s interesting and current. I think it will certainly help them connect and take pride in their Muslim identity.
Noor Kids gave me and my daughters the chance to feel a connection to the books. We quickly recognized Jenin’s teacher’s husband on one of the pages! I loved the cartoon version of my blogging friend, Yvonne of My Halal Kitchen.
Using the Rafflecopter form below, enter for a chance to win one of 6 copies of Noor Kids Islamic Children’s Books.