Book Title: Zaynab and Zakariya: The New Neighbour
Author: Fehmida Ibrahim Shah
Genre: (Islamic) Children’s Books
Recommended Age: 3 and above
Publisher: Smart Ark
The New Neighbour is a part of a series of Zaynab and Zakariya books written by Fehmida Ibrahim Shah. As a Muslim writer, I just wish that I was the one who wrote the book. Lol
But more seriously, as a Muslim parent trying to raise kids on a righteous path, I find that this book is a simple and beautiful way to teach akhlaaq (manners) in children.
The book is fiction and it teaches social and ethical issues with Muslim characters. We have Zaynab and Zakariya, two siblings who extend arms of friendship to a new (wheel-chair bound) girl in their neighbourhood. In their interactions with the new girl, Khadija, there are lessons in empathy, friendliness, and goodness to neighbours.
What I loved most about the book is the way that it encourages good character in children and adults. I also like that there is a physically challenged character. Because if you look around in a lot of books, there is less representation for disabled people or those who are perceived as a minority of some sort.
People sometimes act like these lack of representation of minority groups do not matter, but honestly, it does. My kids had a lot of fascination with Khadija’s wheelchair, and they had so many questions. I think it is important for books to paint a more realistic picture of the real world from the stories of their characters.
Am I digressing? lol sorry
I would recommend this book for ages 3 and up, and for every parent, guardian or carer regardless of religion. It is a book that shines the spotlight on good character in Islam.
Have you or your kids read Zaynab and Zakariya: The New Neighbour before? Please share your opinion below.
If you would like to order a copy, you can visit the web page here.