Book Reviews: Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recycle & The Meat Eating Vegetarian

From MuslimKidsBooks | July 2010 Image:: Smart Ark “Zakariya was having a clear out. He had some old toys that he did not with anymore....

From MuslimKidsBooks | July 2010
Image:: Smart Ark
“Zakariya was having a clear out. He had some old toys that he did not with anymore. He also had lots of old used paper that he was going to take outside and throw in the bin.
“Stop!” said Zaynab. “You can’t throw that away.”
“Why ever not, it’s only bits of paper?” said Zakariya.”
Zakariya is a young boy cleaning up his room. He is about to throw away a pile of paper and other things when his sister tells him that he can recycle them instead. Zakariya, like all little children, is curious and ask questions. He wants to find out what recycling means. His sister Zaynab proceeds to explain this to him...
As the story progresses we witness the ease by which we can all attempt to live a life that incorporates the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). Not only do Zaynab and Zakariya want to recycle,  they make a compost and while shopping, learn how to identify eco-friendly products. This book is not only a wonderful way to introduce to the concept of recycling but of appreciating the all the resources Allah has given humans and how we must try our best to use them responsibly.  
Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recycle is the first book in a series planned by Smart Ark. This is the first publisher I have seen who has addressed an environmental issue in a book for young children. Muslim children living in our world today need to read books like this one because of two reasons. First, as Muslims we need to be responsible about how we treat our environment. Second, Muslim children need to see children like themselves taking care of the earth. And Smart Ark ensures that it sets an example by making their books (and other products, see here and here) out of recycled materials (see their environmental policy for some of the other environmentally friendly things this company does.).
Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recycle is a great resource for the classroom as teachers will find that it ties in with the curriculum. Parents also, will find the natural conversation that takes place between brother and sister easily engages young readers thereby serving to educate them about issues of the environment that all Muslims need to know.
Title: Zaynab and Zakariya Learn to Recycle | Author: Fehmida Ibrahim Shah | Publisher: Smart Ark | ISBN:  978095629979 | Reading Level: 4-5 years (Read Aloud), 6-8 years (Read on Own)
The Meat Eating Vegetarian
Image:: Soundvision
“Lisa was surprised to see Tasneem without her scarf on. She said nothing but saw that Yvonne had noticed it too.
“Hey you two, here at last! Come on into the dining room. I’m starving,q” said Tasneem.
The two slightly nervous guests followed Tasneem through to dining room.Lisa was wondering what vegetarians would serve as a whole meal.”
Tasneem is a Muslim girl who has just moved to a new school. She quickly becomes firm friends with two girls in her class. They are puzzled by the fact that she doesn’t ever take any meat in her school lunches. They believe Tasneem is vegetarian until they are invited for dinner at her house and they all eat lamb burgers. And why wasn’t she wearing her hijab at home? In this book the issues of Halal meat and Islamic dress requirements are explored in the relationship between Tasneem and her two non-Muslim friends.
This is not a new book, but I wanted to introduce it to those who may not have read it as yet. I think it is a wonderful book that could be used to explain Islamic practices pertaining to food and dress to children about seven to eleven. It’s the kind of book that would work well as a read-aloud by a teacher or parent in a public school setting. What’s more many Muslim girls, like Tasneem in the book, can relate to the ups and downs of friendship.
Title: The Meat Eating Vegetarian | Author: Caroline Maryam Ward | Publisher: The Islamic Foundation (UK) | ISBN: 0860373061 | Category: Islamic Fiction | Reading Level: 8 – 11 years


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  1. debbie al-harbi29 Oct 2014, 01:35:00 is a charity site that sells this book and five hundred childrens Islamic,learning Arabic,and Arabic books.we sell to adults and children over 2,900 Islamic products.we make a great homeschooling resource to.


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