I decided that for Earth Day I wanted to treat my Muslim children to some new literature and to ask them which type of books they cared most to focus by giving them a few choices.
Did they want me to read them creation stories and myths from different religions and cultures? I already had one or two books ready and was keen to explore more. One child was immediately keen, but asked if we could just read a creation story from Islam.
Did they want me to spent more time reading our favourite nature stories? I was thinking of books by Elsa Beskow, Enid Blyton, and Beatrix Potter. Everyone was keen, as usual, although with our current fine spring weather the children have been understandably much more interested in playing outside within nature.
Or would they like a new book about Greenpeace? One child said he’d prefer something about Bluepeace. But they were all intrigued by what I suggested after I explained a little about the organisation.
I went ahead and ordered some new materials and we have all been pleased with them. They love their surprise Octonauts book and have enjoyed playing in the garden to the sound of their Songs of Nature CD (please note this CD includes piano music). They are delighted with their book that includes a puzzle and Earth Day.
However, I realised that I hadn’t tried to treat my children to books that embraced their love for creation as Muslims. I had given choices that were too narrow to allow my children to focus on the type of books they really wanted. I sought to rectify my oversight and searched for recommendations of Muslim children’s books for Earth Day/earth care/environment … but my searches did not bring up the results I was looking for.
I searched our home library shelves and soon had a stack of contenders for such a list. I also finally ordered some books that have been on my shelf of dormant intentions for up to three years. And I (as well as my spouse) read new and long-loved Muslim earth care books to the children.
And of course I prepared to treat you to the kind of post I had searched for: a post celebrating a selection of Muslim picture books for Earth Day. Insha’Allah I’ll share it soon.
Elizabeth Lymer is the author of Religious Rhyme Time, an Abrahamic children’s interfaith book, as well as Islamic Nursery Rhymes. She loves eating chocolate while she writes, and, with strictly chocolate-free fingers, she also creates Muslim and interfaith children’s gifts for book people at her Etsy shopBarakahBedtimesUK. Elizabeth is a member of the Muslimah Writers Alliance. She’s on Twitter @elizabethlymer.
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