Disclaimer: We received this book free with no expectation of a review. However I decided to share it on the blog.
Learning to Deal with Loss- Sulaiman and the Tides of Change is the third book in a series of stories about a young Muslim boy. However you can still read this book if you haven’t read the previous books.
Author: Aliya Vaughan
Illustrator: Rakaiya Azzouz
Paperback, 56 pages
Sulaiman is on holiday when he learns his grandfather has passed away. Join Sulaiman as he learns about life changes over time and how to deal with loss as a Muslim
Loss touches everyone at some point; it is not something you can escape from. For some it touches them early in life and for others later on. My girls so far have not experienced a lot of loss, except for their cat. We have lost relatives in Pakistan, but as the girls are not close to anyone there it has not impacted them in the way it could have. But I know one day they will lose someone close to them, and it can be hard to explain to children the concept of death and loss and how to deal with it.
Loss generally isn’t something that is talked about until it happens. But then in your own grief it can be hard to explain to children to help them understand. It is always best to talk to them and explain to them in an age appropriate way. So I was interested to see how this book teaches learning to deal with loss.
Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will returnSurah al-Baqarah 2:156
What did we think?
The loss itself is only really dealt with in the final 13 pages. Initially the story is about Sulaiman who goes on holiday to see his grandparents. They spend time together and it is touched upon how his grandfather isn’t as active as he used to be when he was younger and there is also an incident where Sulaiman goes under the water and struggles; this all relates to when he thinks about death and discusses it with his father.
When he learns his other grandfather has passed away abroad, Sulaiman experiences some strong emotions and runs away and hides until his father finds him and they discuss death. His dad talks about how Allah (swt) sometimes takes away things we love to test us, and also that we only live in this life a short time and it is the hereafter that is forever.
Their trip to the beach is linked into death as Grandpa remininses about how the beach was when he was younger:
The sea reminds me a lot about life.Sometimes it’s rough and sometimes it’s smooth. But it can also be unpredictable. We never know what’s going to happen in life, except for death. That is always certain. It’ll happen to all of us one day, so we must make sure we are prepared for it.
Although the book is called ‘learning to deal with loss’, I feel it is more explaining what loss is. The book explains the islamic concept of death, that it is inevitable and that all the changes in life link to a greater purpose; the hereafter.
What is useful in the book is that there are som comprehension questions at the end of the book. This allows you to sit down with the child and discuss what has just been read and discuss it in more depth.