Monday, August 12, 2013

Recommended Picture Book: The Perfect Gift

Title: The Perfect Gift

Author: J. Samia Mair

Illustrator: Craigh Howarth

Publisher: The Islamic Foundation

Age: 5 - 7 years

Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2

Themes: Eid/Eid al-Adha, Nature Appreciation, Family, Gift-giving

Opening: Sarah looked out the window. She was very sad.

Book Summary:
Sarah is sad because she cannot find an Eid gift for her mother, so she takes a walk along the secret path in the woods that always makes her feel better. There she finds the first flower of spring—God's perfect gift to the world. Leaving her gift in its place to share with her entire family, Sarah grows in her understanding and appreciation of nature and what it means to live in submission to God.

A glossary at the end of the book explains many of the Islamic terms used in the book.
Perfect for spelling games, word finds and crossword puzzles.

The story is set at the time of Eid ul Adha, though nothing pertaining to the religious aspects of the event is given.

It’s also set in early Spring. Depending on where you live, you can talk about the winter/spring seasons and what happens to animals and plants during this time. Take your children of students on a walk through a natural setting outdoors and talk about what kinds of “perfect gifts” you see. Let children draw pictures and even write stories about what they find.

Talk about Allah as Al Khaliq who created all the beautiful things around us. Ask children how they can enjoy nature without destroying it.

Find more activities here at Activity Village.

Why I Like This Book: 
Eid is to Muslims as Christmas is to Christians. It is a time for remembrance, family, friends and gift-giving. But what happens when one does not have the money to buy gifts to give. That is where the true story and spirit of Eid comes in The Perfect Gift. Sarah is a young girl who does not have a gift for her mother. She does not have money like her brother and is not talented in calligraphy like her sister who makes a beautiful picture using calligraphy and the frames it. When Sarah takes a walk through the snow-covered woods she observes just how beautiful nature really is and begins to appreciate it. She stumbles up the first flower of spring. It was beautiful and decides this is the "perfect gift." Her appreciation of the natural beauty of Allah's (God's) creation is shown when she decides to not pick the flower but instead builds a cute little picket fence around it made out of popsicle sticks and attaches a sign that says, "Eid Mubarak! Allah's perfect gift to the world." I love message this story gives. The best gift is not always the ones you buy or even make.

1 comment:

Mia said...

Gifts from the heart is such a wonderful holiday message! Thanks so much for linking up to The Multicultural Children's Book Day linky!