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helping moms, one at a time

Would you fancy a world made of chocolate? October 26, 2013

What is it?

Amira’s Totally Chocolate World – a hardcover book

What’s the price?

RM30.00

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • Beautifully illustrated with brilliant colours
  • Indulges in the ultimate childhood fantasy – a world made of chocolate. Yummy!
  • Instead of the using “magic” as normally used in children’s stories, this story tells of the power of Amira’s total belief in Allah the Al-Mighty Creator – she believes that by asking in a du’a, Allah will provide.

Review

The book tells the story of Amira, who loves chocolate so much, she wishes for everything in the world to be made of chocolate. She lives with her family in their house which is surrounded by a beautiful garden of flowers and trees, nearby the ocean. She keeps making du’a, having faith that Allah the Al-Mighty will grant this wish for her. As the story goes, when she wakes up on the morning of Eid, she looks out the window of her bedroom, and lo and behold – every single flower, every blade of grass, every drop of rain is chocolatey. The rainbow is made from different types of chocolate and ocean gives dark, foamy waves – how mouth-watering is that?

When she feels she had enough taste of all chocolate around her, she heads back home. Only then she realizes that she could not smell the normally fragrant flowers and grass, and suddenly she misses the beautiful hues of colours all around her, that she’s taken for granted. She remembers that plants and animals need water to live, not chocolate. So she made another du’a to Allah to return the world back to the way He made it. And… what do you know, she wakes up from her sleep. She runs out and rejoices in the beautiful world that Allah has made, just as it should be.

What I like about it

The first thought that comes to my mind is this book is one great childhood fantasy. What child wouldn’t love a world where everything is made of chocolate, so they can eat everything chocolate? Simply imagining a chocolate ocean and a rainbow with different types of chocolates – wow! My daughter simply loves it – she actually asked me what is the specific du’a that Amira recited to transform the world into edible chocolate. The beautiful illustration helps a lot; it simply brings the fantasy world to life. Unlike normal fantasy tales for children, this one tells the story from a Muslim perspective – where the special miracle happens on Eid, and Amira asks from Allah to transform the world, not by waving a magic wand on Christmas eve.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing major. The sentences are a bit long, as the age suitability is from 5 years old, so reading out the book quickly is quite a task for kids who want to get to the ending of the story quickly.

Conclusion

Instead of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, try picking up this book instead – good for the imagination and for the soul. Can’t get any better than that.

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A day in My Life – the Muslim version March 12, 2013

What is it?

Sehari dalam Hidupku – Panduan & Adab-adab serta Doa-doa Harian Kanak-kanak Muslim

What’s the price?

RM10

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • Beautifully illustrated and brightly coloured pages
  • Provide Islamic supplications for every activity, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night
  • Provide some simple guides of Islamic manners for daily application
  • Features a giant poster of summarized supplications

Review

The book starts off with the most important statement – “Islam dan ahklak tidak boleh dipisahkan” meaning that Islam and good manners are inseparable. To be a Muslim means to be a person with good manners and sound values.

There are supplications for practically everything – waking up in the morning, going to the toilet, getting dressed, mealtimes, travelling, studying, supplications for parents and of course, for prayer times.

There are clocks on the activities, indicating the ideal time suggested for waking up, prayer times, going to school and others. There are additional supplications such as supplications after sneezing, for when visiting a sick person, for when learning the Quran and preparing for prayers. There are also additional information on the 5 prayers and how to determine the prayer times.

What I like about it

This book is not just for kids, its suitable for adults too. It’s simply fascinating to look at – the bright colours and cute characters, big fonts and simple language, making it easy to read and very attractive for young children. The giant poster is can be hung up on the wall for easy reference, also doubling as room decor. Talk about educational and useful room decor.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing at all!

Conclusion

At R10, this book is such a steal and will benefit people of all ages. A must have for Muslim households!

 

Thank You o Allah! – lessons of gratitude 2 December 1, 2012

What is it?

Thank You o Allah! – a hardcover picture book

What’s the price?

RM30.00

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • A short lesson in gratitute and thankfulness
  • Beautifully simple illustrations with short sentences that rhymes

Review

The first thing that comes to my mind when I turn the pages, are how beautiful the illustrations are. The whole thing is like a mini galleria captured in a book. If you’ve ever seen any of Eric Carle’s books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, well, this is something like that but in Islamic version.

It can be difficult to teach young children how to be thankful and the concept of Allah the Creator. This book is a great starting point. In the beautiful pictures, it shows that all the food, the clothes, the days and nights, the mountains and rivers, even our sense of sight, hearing and smell, are all gifts from Allah.

What I like about it

Apart from the nicely rhymed sentences and beautiful pictures, I love the fact that a children’s book could teach so much about gratitude and thankfulness. This is essential in building humble, modest human beings and instilling that deep down inside, we are all the same.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing at all.

Conclusion

A heart-warming lesson in gratitude, in compact, beautifully illustrated books that will not only capture a child’s heart, but also mesmerize the parent. Love, love, love!

 

Hassan & Aneesa go to Madrasa – learning the Quran the fun way November 25, 2012

What is it?

Hassan & Aneesa go to Madrasa – a glossy paperback book

What’s the price?

RM25.00

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • A short story of siblings Hasssan & Aneesa going to an informal school to learn reading the Quran
  • A bright and colourful book that is simply a delight to read

Review

Madrasa simply means school, but in this book, it is meant as an informal Islamic learning environment, taught by their own neighbours. Hassan and Aneesa are going to madrasa for the first time, so they are naturally curious and excited. They put on nice, decent clothing, Aneesa with her favourite hijab and Hassan with his long shirt.

At madrasa, they meet lots of other children, where the teacher sits with each of them and help them to read the Quran. Then comes colouring activities, snack time, prayer time where they all pray together and quiz time. At the end of the day, their parents come to collect them.

Similar to other books by The Islamic Foundation that you can see here, here and here, this book is adorably cute with bright illustrations, simply a delight to read to young children who are just starting school. Though admittedly, the environment in the book isn’t entirely the same like our kids here in Malaysia starting in kindergarten, it’s imperative for us to let our young ones know, that learning is supposed to be fun, and let them be kids, instead of forcing them to grow up quickly. Before you know it, the real world will consume them quickly and your babies will no longer be babies.

What I like about it

This little book reminds me of my own kindergarten days, (though I don’t remember that much of it) a blur of colouring, singing, reading, eating and playing with friends. School back then was so much fun!

What I don’t like about it

Nothing about the book. But I’d really hate it when I had to miss school, I loved it so much!

Conclusion

This is a great book to read to nervous little kids who are soon going to school. It also allows some sweet reminiscence for the parent reading it, too. Simply a delight!

 

Allah Gave Me series – lessons of gratitude November 18, 2012

What is it?

Allah Gave Me Two Eyes to See – a hardcover picture book

Allah Gave Me Two Hands and Feet – a hardcover picture book

Allah Gave Me Two Ears to Hear – a hardcover picture book

What’s the price?

RM30.00 each

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • A celebration and appreciation for our 5 senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste & feel
  • Beautifully simple illustrations with short sentences that rhymes

Review

It’s easy to take things for granted, especially when you were born with them. These little books reminds us that everything, even our body parts, are a gift from the Supreme Creator, that we should be thankful for all His gifts and that nothing in this world is truly our own. Allah is capable of taking them all back, with just a blink of an eye.

The “Allah gave me two eyes” and “Allah gave me two ears” books always start with the sentence “Allah gave me” followed by the sense of sight, for example, followed by several things we can see such the colours of leaves, the dark of the night, the pure white snow and the colours of a rainbow. Then it would finish with the opening sentence “Allah gave me two eyes to see” to further reinforce the facts as a sort of closure, before moving on to the next sense.

The “Allah gave me two hands and feet” is similar in its sentence structure with plenty of repetition, which are essential for a child’s reading. The larger illustrations are even nicer, with some pictures taking up both right and left pages.

To really feel gratitude and thankfulness in our heart for all these senses, just shut off one sense at a time and try to depend on your other senses. Just close your eyes, and imagine what the world would look like just by listening, tasting, smelling and feeling with your hands. Try buttoning up your shirt with one hand, or hop on one leg for 10 minutes? How would it feel to be blind or deaf, or lose an arm or a leg?

What I like about it

Apart from the nicely rhymed sentences and beautiful pictures, I love the fact that a children’s book could teach so much about gratitude and thankfulness. This is essential in building humble, modest human beings and instilling that deep down inside, we are all the same.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing at all.

Conclusion

A heart-warming lesson in gratitude, in compact, beautifully illustrated books that will not only capture a child’s heart, but also mesmerize the parent. A must-have!

 

Islamic Manners Activity Book – learning manners, the Muslim way November 5, 2012

What is it?

Islamic Manners Activity Book

What’s the price?

RM25.00

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • Packed with various activities to keep your child busy e.g. colouring pages, connecting dots, solving mazes & word puzzles, word search, picture & word matching, even spelling and writing.
  • A key feature not found in ordinary activity books – all activities are related to cultures and values as per Islamic teachings.
  • Suitable for kindergartners and primary schoolers.

Review

This book is pretty self-explanatory, as you can see in the pictures. There are pages and pages of colouring activities, connect the dots, drawing, learning to write and spell. There are also cut-out pages of flashcards, which can also be coloured, to be used in matching activities as explained in the instructions.

I would say that this book would be suitable for 6-10 year olds; younger kids would love the colouring & the dot-connecting  activities, while older kids enjoy the ‘harder’ stuff such as the word challenges, finding mistakes in a picture, and spelling and writing in English and Arabic.

What I like about it

I have to admit, there are a lot of activity books out there, but not many like this – that emphasizes on good moral values in life in the Islamic context.

What I don’t like about it

What’s there not to like?

Conclusion

It’s nice to see Islamic values and cultures embedded in children’s books, and can be practiced in our daily lives. At such an affordable price, this is a truly worthwhile investment. Get it!

 

Muqaddam Bergambar – a fully illustrative Muqaddam October 1, 2012

What is it?

Muqaddam Bergambar – a fully illustrative Muqaddam

What’s the price?

RM15

Where to buy it?

Simply contact us, yeay!

What are the special features?

  • A full version of the Muqaddam with multi-coloured pages and translated into 3 versions: Malay, English and Jawi
  • Illustrative animations briefly describing the contents of a specific surah, to attract and build interest in young children to learn and read the Quran

Review

The Muqaddam contains 37 surahs or passages that are combined into the last Juzu’ in the Quran, the 30th Juzu’. It is commonly used as the introductory learning of the Quran to the young, as the surahs are shorter and easier to read compared to other more complicated and longer surahs.

I’ve listed down the names of the surahs and the meanings in Malay and English, because sometimes the meaning is a little confusing in Malay, and is clarified better in English, and vice versa.

The list of the surahs is as below:

  1. An-Nabaa (Berita Besar – The Great News)
  2. An-Naazi’aat (Makhluk-makhluk yang mencabut apa yang ditugaskan mencabutnya – Those who Pull Out)
  3. ‘Abasa (Ia Memasamkan Muka – He Frowned)
  4. At-Takwir (Melingkari – Wound Round and Lost its Light)
  5. Al-Infitaar (Terbelah – The Cleaving)
  6. Al-Mutaffiffiin (Orang-orang yang curang dalam timbangan dan sukatan – Those who deal in Fraud)
  7. Al-Insyiqaq (Terbelah – The Splitting Asunder)
  8. Al-Buruj (Tempat-tempat peredaran Bintang – The Big Stars)
  9. At-Thaariq (Bintang yang menembusi Cahayanya – The Night Comer)
  10. Al A’laa (Yang Maha Tinggi – The Most High)
  11. Al-Ghaashiyah (Hari Kiamat yang meliputi Huru-Haranya – The Overwhelming)
  12. Al-Fajr (Fajar – The Break of the Dawn)
  13. Al-Balad (Negeri – The City)
  14. Asy-Syams (Matahari –The Sun)
  15. Al-Laiil (Malam – The Night)
  16. Ad-Dhuha (Waktu Dhuha – The Forenoon ‘After Sunrise’)
  17. Ash-Sharh (Perihal Melapangkan Dada Nabi – The Opening Forth)
  18. At-Tiin (Buah Tiin – The Fig)
  19. Al-Alaq (Darah Beku – The Clot)
  20. Al-Qadr (Kemuliaan – The Night of Decree)
  21. Al-Baiinah (Bukti yang jelas nyata – The Clear Evidence)
  22. Az-Zalzalah (Gegaran – The Earthquake)
  23. Al-A’diyat (Kuda Perang yang Tangkas Larinya – Those That Run)
  24. Al-Qaari’ah (Hari Kiamat – The Striking Hour)
  25. At-Takaathur (Bermegah-megah – The Emulous Desire)
  26. Al-Asr (Masa – The Time)
  27. Al-Humazah (Pengumpat – The Slanderer)
  28. Al-Fiil (Gajah – The Elephant)
  29. Al-Quraisy (Suku Quraisy – Quraisy)
  30. Al-Maa’uun (Barang Berguna – The Small Kindness)
  31. Al-Kautsar (Nikmat yang Banyak – A River in Paradise)
  32. Al-Kaafiruun (Orang-orang Kafir – The Disbelievers)
  33. An-Nasr (Pertolongan – The Help)
  34. Al-Masad (Tali yang dipintal – The Palm Fibre)
  35. Al-Ikhlas (Pemurnian Keesaan Allah – The Purity)
  36. Al-Falaq (Waktu Subuh – The Day Break)
  37. An-Nass (Manusia – The Mankind)

 

What I like about it

I don’t know about you, but reading the meaning of the titles alone could stir my heart and instill fear. In 37 short passages, it shows how very complete the Quran in guiding us in every aspect of our lives. There is even a surah about a person who frowns. This should be THE life guide for every Muslim.

This pictorial Muqaddam is not only beneficial for young children learning to read the Quran, but also suitable for anyone who is trying to get a deeper understanding of the Quran, the introductive way. This would definitely get one to search further into the Quran, which is what every Muslim should aim to do.

What I don’t like about it

Nothing.

Conclusion

At RM15, the pictorial Muqaddam is a wealth of knowledge, worth every single sen. A must-have in every household.