The mosque is a place for everyone. From grandfathers who chant whilst thumbing their prayer beads to grandmothers who read lines from the Qur’an. From children who race around handing out prayer mats to the imam who tells stories of living peacefully together. Mosques are special places filled with friendship, community, togetherness and love and you are invited too…
Told through the eyes of a young child, everyone is welcome at the mosque in this lyrically written and stunningly illustrated picture book. It is a fabulous introduction to mosques and provides young children with the essential information about the second largest religion in the world, a welcoming author’s note and back-matter, including a glossary, provide further details.
Whilst nothing is explored at any great length, children get a really good feel to what for many will be an unfamiliar building. The simple text and colourful illustrations capture the everyday scenes within the mosque as our young narrator explores the people, the building and the sounds. The mosque may be a new experience but many of the messages and themes are universal; community, friendship, family, helping others, kindness, peace, love - we may look different, dress differently, have different religious beliefs and visit different buildings but we are all very much alike.
What I love about this book is that you feel like you are visiting the mosque from the very first page; taking your shoes off as you enter, receiving a loving hug from an aunt, passing the different people as they go about their rituals, listening to the imam, standing with friends, taking the time to reflect and pray, enjoying delicious food. The whole experience is wonderful, informative and uplifting and I feel richer for having read it. I have no doubt that children will love exploring this book and what a great precursor it could be for a class visit to the local mosque.
Whether it serves as a window into a new world or a mirror for children to see themselves, it is sure to delight. A beautiful book.
Recommended for 5+.