Friday, 20 July 2012

Naima B Roberts, book review

Asalam waliykum sisters,

I was meant to do this review last week but due to preparation for Ramadan I had no time. Alhamdulillah it is the perfect time now, and the books I will review are in keeping with this month!

A little bit about the author, Naima B roberts a sister, who reverted to Islam in her early 20's. She is an author of many books, runs Sisters Magazine, and has her own blog. I read all about her in one of her first books, From my sisters lips. This book is sort of like an autobiography with other reverts journeys to Islam. I recommend it to every sister, not just those new to the deen.

I think I have read all her books now. You can find out more about her online, just google her name, she has a FB page and her books sell on most online stores like ebay, amazon etc.

The two books I am reviewing are her first books aimed at small children, 3-9. I am an adult, 25 and i loved the book! so use that age range as a rough guide :D
She collaborated with others on these books, as with most children books you can expect lots of colours and pictures to keep your eyes busy, and keep kids engaged.

I originally bought these books for my younger cousins, after reading the content myself (could not help myself). I realised that perhaps they are little too old and would not enjoy it as the reading level is also for younger children. My two cousins are 10 and 13. Therefore, I have decided to keep the books for myself, well not really, but keep them until I can find a good home for them and in that time I will enjoy them!!

Onto the books, the first one which is in keeping with this blessed month is called 'Ramadan Moon'.
Na'ima provides the wording for the book, and Shirin Adl is the illustrator.  

The book is so eye catching, and attracts the eye. It is very different from other books, just looking at the cover. It is sort of cartoon and collage merged, creating a unique design which I have not seen before. This invites you to open to see what other colourful scenes are inside.

The book takes the child on a journey from planning of Ramadan, sighting the moon, during Ramadan, towards the end of the month and then the Eid celebrations. Mashallah, without giving information overload to the child and boring them to sleep, Na'ima writes enough to educate a child with the basics, however, also allowing the child to ask questions to seek more knowledge and gain understanding on the month. I believe she achieves this with the images and the scene set on each page.

Each page is different, and really was a joy to read, even at the age of 25!! This is something we never had at kids and we had the adults books to read only. Alhamdulillah, these sorts of books are available and are effective at getting the message across and engaging the child.

I give this book top scores based on the illustrations, the wording and how the book is put together and the pricing too. This is a book I can imagine reading over and over again to my child (Inshallah) during the month of Ramadan. And something that is reserved for that month to make it extra special.


Book number 2, 'Going to Mecca'. Na'ima this time collaborated with Valentina Cavallini, an illustrator who again creates this collage type work. Combining papers, materials, and watercolours and gives the book a very 3D feel.  

Again, the cover is eye catching and unique. Throughout the book, each person has been created using collage with different mediums, I thought this was really cute and me and my sister in law went through each page looking at all the faces (yes two grown women) and at times comparing them to people we know :D Big kids at heart really. We both loved the book!

The book follows the journey of a Muslim family living in the west. making the great journey to Mecca to perform hajj/pilgrimage. Each page takes the child step by step on the stages of preparing to actually being in Mecca and then returning back home. A brief explanation that is easy for a child to understand. I really loved how each page had a scene that wrapped up the rights a Pilgrim must carry out without becoming to busy and overwhelming.

I feel this book is suitable for both Muslims and non-Muslims, great dawah material. Again this book scored highly with me, and my sister in law. I loved the unusual illustrations and how easy it is to read and understand. A very special book.

Well done to Na'ima on these two books. Mashallah, and May Allah reward her for her efforts making Islam more accessible to the young and keeping our children engaged with Islam.  

Have any of you sisters read these books and own them? Are they something you would invest in for your kids? Please do share your thoughts below.

Jazakallah khier, wasalam.

(p.s I know in Islam that drawings are not permissible of humans just like statues, However, most scholars have said that with children it is okay, because it is used merely to engage a child and for educational reasons. Also one Hadith, states that when Aisha was 6-8 years old, she used to play with dolls and it was not forbidden. What is forbidden is for a grown woman to still have dolls and teddies, to jhave images on the walls etc. If a child has toys and pictures it should not be in excess and not on the walls. So it should be hidden away after playing, otherwise the angels will not enter the house). Allahu Allam, and Allah knows best.


  1. Mashallah, Thanks for the great review. I ended up getting these books for my little darlings. I agree with what you said. The kids loved the vibrant colours and simple text. Really interested in Naima now and looking at buying more books from her mashallah.
    Thank you

  2. Asalam waliykum sis,
    Glad you found the review useful.
    Your weloome :D

    wasalam -x-


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