Book Title: Ilyas & Duck Ramadan Joy
Author: Omar S. Khawaja
Illustrator: Leo Antolini
Available at- Little Big Kids for $16.99
Our Rating- ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ [5/5]
The title tells you much about the subject matter of the fourth book in the Ilyas & Duck series, by Omar S. Khawaja,
who is one of our favorite authors (kids & mine #muslimkidlit) & we look forward to the immersive bang at the beginning of his books. Like his other titles before this one, the children were instantly absorbed with the lovable art, words full of energy, rhythm & traces of rhyme. (Read the beginning for yourself down here).
Ilyas & Duck stood at the edge of town,
Patiently watching the setting sun.
Then the moon appeared & Ilyas said with a cheer,
“Look Duck! Up there! I see the crescent moon!”
And just like that, the month of Ramadan had begun.
The book begins with a multi-sensorial description of the festivities & traditions of the blessed month, with the eccentric Duck almost breaking his fast before Maghreb. Mayday!
This event leads to Ramadan being further explained by Ilyas, & a plethora of questions by the always inquisitive Duck.
The vibrant & humorously cartoonish illustrations coupled with dialogue between the two characters not only leave your audience in mirth but also get the message of Ramadan across in much depth.
You’ll find the author using some big words like,
Self-restraint to explain Ramadan through the character, Ilyas, something you might have to stop & talk about to your younger & older children.
(YOUNGER CHILDREN-explaining with examples what the meanings of the words are
OLDER CHILDREN- an opportunity for further discussion about the essence of Ramadan).
After details about the blessed month (something our younger lot might have to sit still & wriggle through) is the action-packed journey of the picture book. It takes place after the fast is completed & Ilyas & Duck have prayed.
Out and about the duo discover a not so special someone who is a menace & a threat to the peace & goodness of Ramadan,
Mister Mean (kind of like the Christmas Grinch).
Someone who detests Ramadan & all the little children who are doing there very best to be righteous. The author creatively introduces younger children to the ways of Shaytan with this villain/bad guy Mister Mean. And wherever there’s a bad guy out there, everyone knows there has got to be a hero, & this book has two!
Sheriff Ilyas & Deputy Duck!
Oh, & we’re not done yet.
Don’t forget to look at the last pages of the book.
There is Arabic vocabulary pertaining to the blessed month & some really funny news by the characters of the book. (Something your older listeners/readers will enjoy).
Overall my children & I loved the book.
My kids absolutely adore the two characters & thoroughly enjoyed the plot twist that required SAVING THE DAY.
I’m a momma to two boys aged 3 & 6, so you know what that means, right?
•Will definitely recommend this as an addition to anyone’s Ramadan book collection.
• This will make for a very special Ramadan gift.
• Will also serve to be a great read-aloud in your child’s public school.
Wishing the author & the entire Ilyas & Duck team the very best & looking forward to more literary adventures from them.