A creative, fun introduction to Islam.



From the Muslim Book of Concepts series

A counting book takes readers on a tour of the Islamic faith.

“One is the morning sun” as a multigenerational Muslim family awakes to the first adhaan (call for prayer). “Two are hands for making dua” as they utter morning invocations. In this fashion, the book moves through the numbers one to 10 as the family members, including two children, carry out various religious practices and traditions. As Khan explains in a closing author’s note, the book steers clear of abstract concepts (like five for the five pillars of Islam) and instead presents “concrete and illustratable terms” to help children “focus on things we can count in the world around us.” Thus, readers see five cups of tea being served at a halaqa (religious study group) with family friends, 10 pairs of shoes that the characters have removed from their feet before salah (formal worship), and three bags of donations being prepared for sadaqa (almsgiving). Exquisite, colorful mixed-media illustrations depict a setting that could be Iran (Amini’s ancestral homeland) and showcase the aesthetics of Islamic art, from textile patterns to architectural ornamentation. This concept book complements the creators’ Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns (2012) and Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets (2018), about colors and shapes, respectively. Some readers may disagree with certain spelling choices, such as salah instead of sala or salat. A helpful glossary explains key terms and could be critical for non-Muslim readers. Muslims are portrayed diversely in terms of dress, physical appearance, and race.

A creative, fun introduction to Islam. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4521-8272-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2022

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Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it.


A succession of animal dads do their best to teach their young to say “Dada” in this picture-book vehicle for Fallon.

A grumpy bull says, “DADA!”; his calf moos back. A sad-looking ram insists, “DADA!”; his lamb baas back. A duck, a bee, a dog, a rabbit, a cat, a mouse, a donkey, a pig, a frog, a rooster, and a horse all fail similarly, spread by spread. A final two-spread sequence finds all of the animals arrayed across the pages, dads on the verso and children on the recto. All the text prior to this point has been either iterations of “Dada” or animal sounds in dialogue bubbles; here, narrative text states, “Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time….” Upon the turn of the page, the animal dads gaze round-eyed as their young across the gutter all cry, “DADA!” (except the duckling, who says, “quack”). Ordóñez's illustrations have a bland, digital look, compositions hardly varying with the characters, although the pastel-colored backgrounds change. The punch line fails from a design standpoint, as the sudden, single-bubble chorus of “DADA” appears to be emanating from background features rather than the baby animals’ mouths (only some of which, on close inspection, appear to be open). It also fails to be funny.

Plotless and pointless, the book clearly exists only because its celebrity author wrote it. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00934-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Fans will definitely want to visit the publisher’s website to check out the extras, while newcomers will either do the same...


In his third outing Pete the Cat follows the pattern of his previous appearances: Despite repeated wardrobe malfunctions, he maintains his upbeat attitude and bouncy charm.

This time around the focus is on the buttons on Pete’s favorite shirt, instead of his shoes, and there’s even a bit of math involved. Still, for readers who have met Pete previously there’s not much here that’s new. Pete moves from his cozy chair to a skateboard to the street outside to a surfboard on top of an old-style Volkswagen Beetle. In each spot, for no apparent reason, one button pops off. The repeated refrain asks “Did Pete cry?” and answers “Goodness, no! Buttons come and buttons go.” As a song it’s likely perky, but read aloud, the text can seem tedious and overlong. Still, the brightly colored, childlike paintings and playful typography should keep kids’ attention, and some will also enjoy identifying the large numerals as they count backwards from four to zero. A final twist finds Pete admiring his bellybutton, which will always be with him unlike the “stuff” that “will come and…go,” offering the option of a mildly anti-consumerist message for parents who choose to emphasize it.

Fans will definitely want to visit the publisher’s website to check out the extras, while newcomers will either do the same or let Pete go, depending on their taste. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-211058-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2012

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