Me and my husband love books, so even before my daughter had her crib assembled, she had a little collection of books ready to go. As naïve first time parents, we used to love walking into Barnes and Nobles and pick up books that appealed to us rather than my daughter.
Fast forward to three plus years later and I have only bought a few books to add to her collection. “Children’s Books” is such a wide category because “children” is a wide age group. Not all books that fall under this category are well suited for all children.
I struggled to find good Muslim books geared towards toddlers for my daughter.
It was hard to tell whether she would connect with a book. Some books seemed too advanced for her age level, while other simply didn’t click. So I took some time to research what makes a good toddler book.
I came up with some characteristics to look for when looking for a toddler book:
- Illustrations that are easy to understand: toddlers can’t read, so the illustrations have to tell the story
- Appropriate subject matter: the story it self has to either be a social story that they can relate to or a twist on a familiar cocept to spark imagination
- Sturdy: Board books are ideal, but if not, it should at least have a hard cover. I don’t want to have to supervise every interaction between my child and the book!
- Writing style: a book with rhythm is not only fun to read, but fun to listen to too. Since toddlers don’t have the language skills to understand all the words, the sound of the words is equally important to the meaning of the words.
- BONUS: Interactive! If it can be more than just a book, the child will definitely engage with it more!
So are there any Muslim Books geared towards toddlers? There sure are! Here are my picks. I have included the amazon links for each of the books.
*disclaimer: I am an amazon affiliate member.
My thoughts : It’s a board book, and the images translate perfectly to the words. I love the repetition in the book because it works on early language skills. The author plays with opposites which is an early preschool skill. Most of all I love the simple yet profound message in the book.
Age Range: I would recommend this book for the younger toddlers (2.5 years and younger) rather than the older toddlers since it may be a little too simplistic for the 2.5 – 4 year olds (ie toddlers who have already developed a ton of language!)
My thoughts: The fact that it’s a board book gives it bonus points. You know those really nicely illustrated, sturdy ABC books that are a staple in every household? Well this is the Arabic version of that! Colorful images that help your child make associations between letters and the images!
Age range: I would recommend this book for the younger toddler group (2.5 years and younger) because it is simplistic. This book is currently a kickstarter project, which means unless it gets fully funded it won’t go into production!
*disclaimer: My name is Hira Rizvi, so this is self promotion but for a good cause!
My thoughts: Not only is it a board book, but it’s an interactive book. Each page of the book is a story from the Quran paired with an activity engaging in a preschool skill. The book ranges from simple activities like shadow matching to more complex activities like threading (works on fine motor skills).
Age range: I would recommend this book for ages 2 to 6 year olds. Your toddler should be able to enjoy playing with this book independently or with you during bed time. It’s a great take along book to the mosque to keep the kids seated during long khutbas. Insider tip: there is a board book version of this coming out soon!
My thoughts It goes BEYOND being a sturdy board book: it’s a water book! Your child needs to really channel their inner Hulk to destroy this book. The book is very simple and a great place to teach your child body parts. Keep this by the sink and identify your body parts while you do wudu!
Age Range: I would recommend this book to the 1 year and under age group because it is a very simple book. I wish it had a more profound Islamic message. But it compensates for that by teaching a practical skill instead!
My thoughts Though this isn’t a board book, it does have a hard cover. The story in this book takes a really complex concept and puts it in relatable terms for toddlers. The thing that makes this book stand out is the writing style. The book is able to accomplish saying a lot with very some simple words that have a very subtle rhythm to it.
Age Range My age recommendation for this book would be the older toddlers (2.5 years and up) because it does have soft pages. I also think toddlers need to have developed a good vocabulary to fully enjoy this book.
My Thoughts: Where do I even begin with this book? I love it. It hits so many of my check boxes for a good toddler book. It’s a sturdy board book with amazing illustrations. The colors are bright and attractive to toddlers. The message, above all, is about diversity and acceptance. I don’t know if you’ve noticed from my blog posts, but that’s what I’m all about! It’s a great book for classrooms and readings.
Age Range: This one is hard to give an age recommendation for. There is no real social story associated with it and the message is complex As an educational tool, I think the preschool aged toddlers (2.5 years and older) could benefit from this book. However, as a book for a home library, I think this is better suited for younger toddlers (2.5 years and under).
My thoughts: If you already have all the top picks here is a new one to add to your collection. Similar to Hats of Faith, this book’s theme is diversity and acceptance. Though it isn’t a board book, it does have a hard cover. The colors are beautiful and it’s a great way to introduce the concept of diversity within Islam to your toddler. It’s a nice way to move away from the terms “them” and “us”.
Age Range: My age recommendation would be for an older toddler (ages 3 and up). This book has more words than the typical toddler book, but the illustrations make up for that! This would be a great share with your local library or classroom.
My Thoughts: This would be the perfect Muslim toddler book if it was a board book. It has simple language, amazing illustration and a message that is revolving a social story. I love the imagination used in this book and the whimsical nature of its writing.
Age Range: This book is a hard cover but really hard to recommend for a certain age range. It’s written perfectly for a younger toddler (1 year old), but because it has soft pages, it is better suited for the older toddler (3 years and up).
My thoughts: This one was a little tricky. It’s a paper back and soft cover book so it’s not very sturdy for toddlers. But what I like about it is that it had very simplistic images, with a rhyming scheme for its narration. It’s not only fun to read but it’s easy for our toddlers to remember! The other bonus for this book is that it comes with a corresponding nasheed! I love being able to interact with books on multiple levels.
Age Range: My age recommendation for this book would be for an older toddler (3 years or older) because of the format. I think that though the words are simple, it can be very useful for some early reading skills such as word recognition.
My thoughts: I love this book! I love that it uses a preschool concept (shapes) and teaches it with Islam as a perspective. It’s beautifully illustrated and well written. Though it isn’t a board book, it does have a hard cover that makes it sturdy.
Age Range My age recommendation for this book would be older toddler (ages 2.5 and up) because it is wordy and more complex. The other thing that makes this book geared towards older toddlers is that it uses images from around the world that may not be recognizable to the younger toddlers growing up in the US. For example, I want my daughter to know what a dome is, but because she has never seen it, it’s harder to get her to relate to it.
With our Muslim community growing I am so excited to see what other books get published in the upcoming year! Do you know of a good Muslim toddler book? Let me know!