Authors and illustrators: Elizabeth Lymer, Kim Reimann, Sandy Quigley, Aisha Davies
Ramadan Rhymes includes several songs about fasting to encourage young children to look forward to being old enough to fast, as well as rhymes about sighting the new moon, reading the Qur’an, praising Allah SWT, asking for forgiveness, and celebrating ‘Eid. It loosely follows the Ramadan journey of three children who are fasting for the first time – Noor, Hicham, and Ali.
With Bee going to nursery for the past year and also prior to that attending toddler groups, she has learnt many of the popular nursery rhymes such as The Wheels on the Bus, Incy Wincy Spider and Old McDonald had a farm. Although I have no issue with that, I often think how nice it would be if there were some rhymes with an Islamic theme. And thats where Ramadan Rhymes comes in.
Ramadan Rhymes contains 18 rhymes which are to the tunes of the popular rhymes mentioned above and many more. What I particularly liked about it is that it isn’t just a book filled with rhymes, but it is also a colouring book. So the children can learn the rhymes while colouring.
The colouring pictures are actually quite basic, but that will make it easier for the younger ones to colour…and all the characters in the pictures have no facial features.
All the rhymes relate to Ramadan with a few at the end talking about Eid. I feel the rhymes are a great way to help get children get excited about ramadan and to also help teach the basics about Ramadan and Eid.
My only criticism of the book is that the cover could be improved. The text seems blurry, especially the back. This could simply be a printing error but although they say never judge a book by its cover, and that the content is more important, appearances can matter and people can be put off purchasing books if they feel the quality isn’t up to standard. (EDIT: The author has since been in touch to advise that this will be rectified.)
In addition to being a colouring book, an extra part to the Ramadan Rhymes colouring book is that it can be used with the free video on YouTube (‘Elizabeth Lymer’ channel). I thought this was a great concept as I didn’t know the tunes to some of the nursery rhymes that were used and we could listen to them online and learn them by listening.
I can see some of these rhymes becoming stuck in my head over ramadan as they are catchy and Bee seems to be enjoying them.