“Of all the wonderful things in the wonderful universe of God, nothing seems to me more surprising than the planting of a seed in the blank earth and the result thereof.” ~ Julie Moir Messervy (b. 1951), American landscape designer
I’m stitching, and it’s surprisingly soothing. The sharp needle sears the coarse denim producing simple yet somehow soothing results. Z is petite which means things need to be hemmed. My mother is the good hemmer, I’m the one that can do it, but it takes longer, and it not as even. It’s Red Ribbon Week at Z’s school tomorrow, and wearing jeans and not doing drugs is ‘jeanius,’ hence why I’m attempting to hem rather than pass on the task to my mother. Time is of essence.
While making semi-even stitches and adding a touch of buttons, I halfheartedly turned on the TV and saw a documentary titled India: A Dangerous Place to Be and was struck by the difficulty in being female, the hardship in being born a girl, the ease in which one can be assaulted.
1 in 4 women are assaulted.
The fact saddens me.
Similarly, it was Infant Loss Awareness Day on October 15th, and 1 in 4 women miscarry or lose infants.
This fact saddens me too.
It’s scary when as a female, you have to be constantly aware of your safety. It’s scary if you’re one of those 4 women who miscarry and suffer silently, or if you are unable to get pregnant and want to have a child.
It’s scary that these facts apply to women.
I am lucky, blessed, and grateful to God to have 2 girls. When I think of these facts though, I am afraid for them, and hope that they will be blessed with good. I hope that we can be strong for whatever trials go our way, and to be there for those who suffer whether in silence or not.
The Prophet (PBUH) loved his son, Ibrahim, so much: “He held Ibrahim in his hands, and tears flowed from his eyes.He said, “The eyes send their tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord. Indeed, O Ibrahim, we are bereaved by your departure from us.” Then he turned his face towards the mountain before his and said, “O mountain! If you were as sorrowful as I am, you would certainly crumble into pieces! But we say what God has ordered us.”
and a prayer, because that is all we have.
“My Lord! I am truly in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!’[ Quran 28:24]
1 Resource: Ibrahim’s Tree, a blog on miscarriage
2. Uplifting Quotes: Faces of Loss
Here’s Reema’s maternity photoshoot! I was hoping for more of a golden leaf setting, but at the end of it all, it didn’t really matter. Reema & Khalid looked excited and in anticipation for their first and new addition of a baby girl, and faces that reflect this joy trumps leaves, even gold ones!
Below are a few of this couple. Fun fact: Reema is half Palestinian, half Mexican, and Khalid is Jordanian. I admired this diverse couple! Loads of Congrats in advance and best wishes for the future!
Illustrator: Laura Jacobsen, who illustrates emotion warmly!
Amazon Summary: It’s Eid, and Aneesa should be happy. But her parents are thousands of miles away for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her grandmother gives her a gift of beautiful clothes, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are dressed in ill-fitting clothes for the holiday. Aneesa discovers that the girls are refugees. Aneesa can’t stop thinking about what Eid must be like for them, and she comes up with a plan to help make it the best Eid holiday ever.
Favorite Quote from the book:
Through the leaves, Aneesa could see the man’s stern features and firmly set chin coming toward them. Hidden behind thick eyebrows were soft, gentle eyes. In these eyes, Aneesa recognized the same look of tenderness she often saw in her own father’s face.
Aneesa and the man looked at each other for a long moment. Then abruptly, he turned around and walked back to his daughters.
The above quote goes with this illustration. This page was my favorite page of the book in which Aneesa and her grandmother have delivered a basket of goodies to her new friends and they are afraid that the girls’ father will not accept the basket.
Book Published by: Boyds Mills Press. I reached out to them for a review copy and I noticed my library didn’t have a copy of this so they donated a copy to me to give to the library – Atlanta Fulton library system so hopefully this book will be able to borrow from the Atlanta libraries v.soon!
Niece’s thoughts: So I tried this story on my 8 year old niece who sat and read the whole story happily. She said her favorite parts of the story were the beginning pages where Aneesa’s grandmother gifts Aneesa 3 sets of outfits, one for each day of Eid.
Awards: Skipping Stones Honor Award, Middle East Book Award – Honorable Mention, Storytelling World Resource Honor Book Award, Best Children’s Books of the Year – Bank Street College of Education. Lots of awards for this special story!
“After reading this book, children will have a greater appreciation for the Muslim culture and will have no problem realizing that love is an action word.” – Library Media Connection
This story is officially a new favorite of mine! I brought it yesterdays to my mother’s home to share with my niece who enjoyed it as well as my grandmother who said it was a beautiful book! If I had one word for this story, it would be warmth. Sentences such as these are typical of the author’s tender writing.
“Papa, there’s more food than we need here,” she said, small fingers gently touching his cheek. “Why don’t we share it with the neighbors?”
I love how Asma Mobin-Uddin’s words are full of emotion. Pair that with Jacobsen’s pastel illustrations, and this book is a special one. This is also an Eid story, in which this Eid is often overlooked as Ramadan does not come right before it, so I like that she wrote about a topic that is not often written about, and that she wrote it for a mainstream audience. I also love realistic fiction stories and I feel this story is easy to relate to for children.
To read the author’s interview about this story and why she wrote it, visit this link here. I personally love seeing the thoughts behind a book!
A few of my favorite pics below – there was no Look Inside! feature on amazon so here’s mine below…
I remember an evening in which we were all sitting together, cousins, brothers, grandparents, and children were running around and clattering, and it was a good moment. I remember thinking Remember This. This is a Good Moment.
When we get these Good Moments, the ones in which you don’t have to say anything, but all you have to do is just keep quiet a minute, look around the room, and absorb the warmth, it is so important to realize that this moment is a Good Moment, and to file it away with the Good Memories.
So that later, when Bad Moments happen, and they will happen, as that is life, and God’s way of testing us, of reminding us that we aren’t in charge, no, not really at all, we can remember the Good Moments, and feel happy that we have experienced such Good and that we will get them again. And to remember to stay close to God at all times, Good or Bad.
The beauty about photography is that you can have a mediocre day, in which you have chores, grimy counters, food to be cooked, sticky floors, unbathed children with sticky feet, but photos can gloss over those facts, and can turn a Mediocre Moment into a Good Moment. Good Moments are the moments we live for, don’t we?
A attempting to “choose clothes.” This outfit of hers is a hand-me-down of Z’s. It is one that my mother bought Z when I just had just given birth to baby A in hospital, and I remember Z coming to the hospital to meet A in this! Time flies!
Navy Blue uniforms in front of frills!
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” – Quran 94:5
Afshan Raheel won the last Eid give away of Ilyas & Duck Search for Allah. Congrats Afshan!
This time Little Big Kids and I are doing another eid giveaway for Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid-al-Fitr! I really wanted to work with them in giving away this story to a reader around the second Eid time, as it’s such a great Eid story for little ones. I know it’s Eid-ul-Adha not Eid-ul-Fitr coming up, but I think this story a general good all-round Eid story, as it teaches little ones what to expect for Eid.
This story was my Eid gift to Z & A for last Eid, and I was so excited when it reached here in time. The 2 love this story and enjoy reading it and seeing the antics Duck is up to, as well as pointing out Eid goodies such as blue lollipops and pink iced cake.
This story teaches them basics of Eid Salah and Zakah in a child appropriate way:
My favorite part of the story is how Ilyas starts of telling Duck that it’s Eid tomorrow and Duck rushes off to get a christmas tree and decorations, and how Ilyas matter-of-factly says, Christmas is for our Christmas neighbors…
And how Duck says,
“I see,” responded Duck with enlightenment. Then he bolted out the front door.
Duck then returns with a menorah and Ilyas says Hanukkah is for our Jewish friends. I really like how author Omar Khawaja chose to mention our Jewish friends and Christian neighbors, as our children see Christmas trees and Hanukkah candles, and are often curious about what it’s all about.
My favorite quote:
Duck was confused.
Duck was curious.
Duck had an idea! He thought it was ingenious.
“Maybe we can learn about Eid-al-Fitr at the Masjid,” suggested Duck.
The rest of the story then shows how Duck and Ilyas explore Eid together at the Masjid, the new clothes they wear, how they dress up for Eid, how they pray for Eid, bake, work on arts and crafts, help others around them, and have fun!
I like this book even better than the first. As a writer, it’s hard to keep up the momentum with sequel characters, but in this series Omar Khawaja and Leo Antolini made Ilyas and Duck amazing once more.
Leo Antolini’s illustrations of Ilyas and Duck hopping into a hot air balloon to go to the masjid to opening up Eid presents is classic and humorous. What I especially like about this story is that it’s fun to read for adults as well as children. Some books that we read over and over, I will hide if they are annoying, but this is one story that I am proud to display! I often see these 2 taking a toy break and reaching for a book, and this is 1 book they enjoy reading together.
Bonus: The book also has a glossary at the end with fun factoids, similar to the last book.
So to get the Eid book, same as last time,
1. Like Ilyas & Duck on Facebook.
2. Like Little Big Kids on Facebook.
3. Follow Ilyas & Duck on Twitter, and send us a tweet saying salaam!
4. Share the word about Ilyas & Duck on your facebook, and tag the page!
5. Tweet about the Giveaway
6. Follow Little Big Kids on Instagram.
7. Join our newsletter at the bottom of the page here: http://www.littlebigkids.com/
8. Subscribe to Ilyas & Duck on Youtube.
Once you’ve done all 5, please let me know by leaving a comment on this page. I know some of you leave comments on my Facebook page, but it’ll be easier for me to manage if we have the comments all here! Then I will plug in the entries into a site which will randomly choose a winner. You do have to be living in the US to enter this Giveaway.