It’s been a cozy day what with rain pelting outdoors that has now transformed into softly falling rain. Such days call for drive-thru Dunkin Donut breakfasts, stay-in-your-pajamas-ALL-day, and a cozy reading book.
I’ve been wanting to start reviewing some good Muslim books that I’ve come across so here is 1 below. Just wanted to clarify that this review is written on my own accord ~ I’m not endorsed by anyone!
The Apple Tree by Mariam Al-Kalby, illustrated by Yee Von Chan is one cozy read. The book is great quality and even smells like a good book. The pages are thick and glossy, and the illustrations suck you in from the first page.
The illustrations are gorgeous. They’re sort of animae like which is unique as I haven’t seen many Muslim story books in this style, or many story books for that matter.
Favorite Quote from the book:
Little Shaima woke up at fajr and peered out her bedroom window. Baba was in the front yard digging a hole in the ground. Curious, she jumped off her bed, raced down the stairs, and swung the front door open.
This quote goes with the first page illustration above and I loved how the illustrator Yee Von Chan broke the picture into 2 segments as I love taking snippets of photos that tell a story.
How I discovered this book: My sister-in-law gave it to me as an Eid gift as she knows I want to have my stories published, so it was inspiring to read this story. She bought me this story because she said the About the Author sounds like me.
Book Published by: Prolance. I was in touch with Angie El-Shariff from Prolance who says regarding publishing, they do a custom publishing route. Basically traditional publishers take your manuscript and make all decisions regarding publishing such as cover design, book size, where to sell, how to illustrate etc. They pay you up front costs but retain a portion of your profits. With Prolance you pay upfront costs but keep all profits. Prolance works with you to make sure your book comes out exactly how you want it. They take care of the technicalities (copyright, ISBN reader). The quality of this book is beautiful and v.professional. It has a gentle stationary like feel.
Book Availability: Not in the Atlanta Fulton Library system. You can buy it on Amazon . It has 17 five star reviews, 1 four star review simply because the font was tricky for an early reader. I personally loved the font as it was artsy, and gave the book a creative ‘crayonny’ feel. On Amazon it lacks the ‘look inside!’ feature so thought I’d include a few previews. I personally love the ‘Look Inside!’ feature on Amazon as when I see the inside of a good book, I get hooked.
Z’s thoughts: Z loved turning the pages and narrating the story on her own from Shaima waking up and her baba planting the tree. I like that the father in the book was referred to as Baba because Z calls her own father Baba too. Z read this with her father and I think the 2 of them really enjoyed it . My husband said Z looked like the little girl in the picture, something my sister-in-law thought too when she bought the book.
Unique Points: The story gently teaches a lesson and has a whimsical feel to it. It’s a story about Shaima and her Baba planting an apple tree and Shaima learning how to share the apples from the tree; if you have a little child, you know that sharing doesn’t always come naturally! Z always looks really concerned for Shaima when Shaima gets mad that someone’s eating her apples.
The author Mariam blogs at http://www.apocketfulofnotes.com and I was in touch with her and have visited her blog a couple times.
More book reviews to come soon! If you are an Author and want me to review your story, please let me know. I read children’s books regularly so reviewing them are fun for me.