Author(s): Zahra Patel
Illustrator(s): Reyhana Ismail
Publisher: Knowledge to Action
Adam and Anisah are back again in My Brother’s Shield, an inspiring story that depicts the superhero-esque challenges that big brother Adam overcomes when fasting during Ramadan. With beautiful illustrations, My Brother’s Shield introduces young readers to Ramadan and fasting as seen through a young child’s eyes; and inspires within them a superhero spirit. A perfect bedtime read for parents and a great addition to your library or classroom.
My Brother’s Shield is the second book in The Adventures of Adam & Anisah series.
Why I like it:
- The story is written in a unique way – from the perspective of the little sister.
- The story is based on the hadith that “fasting is a shield” [Ibn Majah].
- The brother is considered a superhero for fasting – I like how it introduces kids to “real” superheroes vs the marvel/DC/etc ones they are exposed to, and more importantly to the concept that they too can be superheroes one day and have a chance to develop and practice good manners/qualities while fasting during Ramadan
- The Ramadan shield makes Adam strong, brave, calm, and gives him peace. It also protects him from food cravings, fighting with others, chattering and gossiping in the mosque.
- I LOVE that the family had iftar in the park around a bonfire with some pizza! It shows the kids that you can have iftar anywhere and it doesn’t have to be around a dinner table.
- It’s well written and the illustrations are cute.
- The quality of the book is really good with glossy paper!
- They brought in the magic carpet which represents salah (The other book by the author titled ‘The Flying Carpet’ is also seen in the illustrations – Product placement lol!)
- At the end of Ramadan, the shield goes away until next year, and the kids patiently wait and count days until Ramadan arrives again.
- I like how the emphasis is that there is more to Ramadan than not eating/drinking, and the shield of the fasting superhero helps them overcome these challenges.
- Anisah is “training” to be a superhero too – makes its so relatable and even inspiring for little girls.
- The brother and sister relationship is so adorable, where she looks up to him filled with pride.
- The discussion questions and activity ideas at the end of the story are very helpful. They are insightful and get the kids to reflect on what they have read.
- The illustrations show diverse characters, and there is a child wearing a turban! This is also a great talking point with your kids.
Things that could be improved:
So this is NOT an issue but just a heads up for Americans – lol the author used “whilst” which was really unnatural for me to pronounce! On the plus side the kids learnt a new word for ‘while’.
- Many additional activities are suggested at the end of the book
- The book is also accompanied with an activity book which can be purchased separately. The author also has several activities and events going on on their Instagram/website.
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This is a unique story written from the perspective of a child, where she sees her brother as a superhero when he fasts during Ramadan. His special power is the Ramadan shield that gives him the ability to remain calm and be brave. The shield also protects him from food cravings, fighting with others, chattering and gossiping in the mosque. You can talk to your child about how fasting helps build positive character traits and protects them from negative traits (plus all the reflection questions at the end of the story!). I also love how Adam is already a superhero for fasting right in the beginning, and the story focuses on other things we also need to do in addition to “not eating or drinking anything”.
There is also an activity book that goes with the book.
This book is a wonderful addition to your kids library, and we really enjoy this book.