Book Review: My Brother’s Shield |

Book Review: My Brother’s Shield

In the daily hustle and bustle of our lives we sometimes find ourselves being hasty in our prayers, duas, and the  little acts of worship we offer to our Lord. As adults we understand that Allah does not need our prayers, fasts, or charity but we engage in these physical acts of worship to Him because  our spirits need to be in the presence of Divine light to shine. Alhamdillilah, we are given the opportunity by our Creator to recenter ourselves and refocus on our true purpose, to worship. So, when the Holy month of Ramadan comes around each year we feel the spirit of Ramadan surround us and within us. Ramadan is a time to empty our stomachs to feed our souls who have been left hungry all year. The beautiful thing is that we have been craving this the entire time even when we do not recognize it and when it is upon us everything changes. Our children feel this change as well. While they might not truly understand the essence of Ramadan in its entirety, some are slowly training their bodies to abstain from what is halal for us while learning how to build a stronger relationship with Allah. While our little ones are absorbing all of this with curiosity and wonderment.

The Adventures of Adam and Anisah: My Brother’s Shield written by Zahra Patel and illustrated by Reyhana Ismail introduces young readers to Ramadan and fasting through the eyes of little Anisah. Anisah’s older brother Adam is fasting and, in her eyes, he is a superhero who has a shield. The shield is based on the Prophet Muhammed’s, peace and blessings be upon him, analogy that fasting is a shield, reminding us to protect ourselves from anything which may harm us. But to a child a superhero has a shield and superheroes always do amazing things. Anisah notices that Adam overcomes many challenges while fasting including his cravings for biscuits, reading the Quran while avoiding distractions, staying calm during a fight, and avoiding gossiping with friends in the mosque. While there are many challenges, Adam is focused on prayer and the Quran and developing good habits. Anisah is not only witnessing this but excited that next year she will be a superhero as well.

My Brother’s Shield is filled with colorful illustrations keep the readers engrossed with vivid and bright tones decorated with details. Moreover, even the text is art! The words are in various sizes allowing readers to focus on the most important ones in the sentence. The jewel encrusted gold shield is on every page as a reminder that fasting protects us from many things.

The last pages of the book also include discussion time questions as well as challenges and activity ideas. The Adventures of Adam and Anisah: My Brother’s Shield is a great addition to any home library with young children. 

Miriam Mohamed is a mother to seven children and a granny to two cats!  She loves trying new things and learning cool facts. She has taught in an Islamic school setting, has experience assisting children with special needs, and enjoys volunteering and being a part of the community. Miriam lives in Chicago with her beautiful flowering cherry tree and big family.

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