InshaAllah you plant gardens filled with sweet fruits.
InshaAllah you have faith that won’t waver or bend.
With these words, unconditional love intertwines with a parents hopes and aspirations for a young child. In Like the Moon Loves the Sky, author Hena Khan effortlessly merges Islamic values into a daily prayer for all aspects of a child’s life.
The newborn baby is welcomed into the world with a prayer of being ‘gentle and good’. She continues to be celebrated by family and friends as she grows into a toddler in their loving care. As the parents introduce their young one to the world, they hope and pray for her to become a kind, thoughtful and strong person. Their faith guides their wishes for her and provides a moral compass to face life.
With bright, vibrant reds, greens and blues, the illustrations by Saffa Khan use nature as a recurring motif. The fluid lines are dynamic with movement that mirrors the child’s growth from a baby to a toddler and on to being a preschooler. The book also explores the interconnected themes of nature and nurture through its complementary visuals and text. Like the Moon Loves the Sky is a heartwarming universal prayer of love and hope.
This book is a wonderful addition to diverse books that showcase multicultural families. Most Muslim families will recognize the Quranic verses that have inspired the author. The lyrical prose is a welcome change from more moralistic preaching that usually accompanies religious texts for children. The Arabic calligraphy in the beginning and end of the illustrations offer a subtle nod to these families as well. The recurring use of the word InshaAllah -which means God Willing- and the explanation provided upfront serves to demystify it for non-Muslim readers.
Conventionally, InshaAllah comes after the intention or prayer so it takes time to get used to its placement here but based on the cadence, this creative license works in the text. The narrative does however, feel too sparse. I was left feeling like I wanted more. Keeping in mind the age group (3-7 years) the book is intended for, it stays in a warm protective embrace we hope for all children.
This book would be a great pairing with Yo Soy Muslim that expands the conversation to include how the world sees them and their faith.
It would be a great addition to the Celebrating Islam book list as well: