One of our family goals for the year has been to learn more about cultures and traditions that are different than our own. We knew very little about the Muslim observance of Ramadan, so my boys and I set out to learn more together.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, where fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset. It celebrates the revelation of the Muslim holy book, the Quaran, to Muhammed. The end of Ramadan is marked by a feast called Eid-al Fitr. Ramadan is a time when Muslims focus on prayer, study, giving, and humility.
Though our family is not Muslim, we’ve been focusing on learning more about other cultures this year. The books below helped us learn more about Ramadan, the Muslim faith, and the key values that our own faith shares with Islam. My hope is that whether your family observes Ramadan, or you want to learn more about this special month of fasting, you’ll gain knowledge and insight from these books!
7 Children’s Books About Ramadan
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi — Lailah has moved far away to a new school in a new country. She worries that her new classmates won’t understand why she won’t be eating lunch at school during the month of Ramadan. A wise and helpful teacher and school librarian team up to help her find a way to explain her religion and help her new friends understand and respect her beliefs. We really enjoyed this book, and Lea Lyon’s illustrations are gentle and beautiful.
The White Nights of Ramadan by Maha Addasi — In the middle of the month of Ramadan, Muslims in the Persian Gulf celebrate a special time called Girgian, centered around the full moon. Young Noor is excited to collect candy from neighbors and spend time with friends. However, she also receives a reminder that the most important things to focus on during Ramadan are family and giving.
It’s Ramadan, Curious George by H.A. Rey and Hena Khan — In this adorable board book, Curious George joins his friend Kareem and family as they celebrate the first night of Ramadan. George joins in key parts of the celebration, and learns more about what makes Ramadan special. This book is appropriate for preschoolers, but it was a great introduction for my elementary-aged kids as well.
Rashad’s Ramadan and Eid-al Fitr by Lisa Bullard — Ramadan is a time to focus on good deeds, and Rashad is trying his very best to be good and honor the spirit of this special month. At the end of the month, he celebrates Eid-al Fitr with feasting and fun! This book tells a lovely story and is full of additional facts about the Muslim religion.
My 30 Days of Ramadan by Solmaz Parveen — This activity book makes learning about Ramadan a hands-on experience. There’s a coloring page for every day of the month, so kids can color their way through Ramadan while learning more about this special celebration and the Muslim faith. This is a perfect teaching tool for elementary-aged kids.
My First Ramadan by Karen Katz — Katz’s series of holiday books are a great way to introduce young kids to special days. This simple story shares the basics of Ramadan as it follows a young boy who is finally old enough to fast for the first time. This is another book that is great for preschoolers, but is also full of great information for older kids. I learned new things, too!
Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman — The timing of Ramadan is determined by the moon, and the crescent moon is an important part of Muslim symbolism. In this beautiful story, the ritual and meaning of Ramadan is artfully explained, with more details about Ramadan at the end of the book. A great read-aloud for elementary-aged children.
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