My baby shower was themed “A Read in the Garden” and my family decided to request guests to gift a book for the newborn, if they please. Honestly, that was, and continues to be, the best idea ever. His mini library full of wonderful stories was ready even before we had his bassinet squared away.
The first time I actually read him a book was around the time he was six months old. I picked up “Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns”, because in all honesty, I loved the cover and couldn’t wait to read it myself. I found it utterly delightful and, though perhaps only I was enjoying its full flavor, I knew my son was enjoying it too. This became our go-to read for many months from that point forward. Once he could walk, nine out of ten times he chose that book to bring for “story time” with Baba and Mama. I could be wrong, but he did this less out of habit and more out of association. This very colorful read allowed him to understand things even before he could necessarily say the words to describe them. The icing on the cake is that it’s written with rhyme. Not only does that perk up a child’s ears, but it makes for a truly enjoyable and memorable experience for both parent and child.
My son is now two years old and, though our journey with this book is far from over, at this point in time, there are 6 words I would say I know he definitely picked up from our time with this book:
- Allah: There is something beautiful about teaching your child to simply see the word Allah, and eventually, to learn to say it. This book introduces it beautifully.
- Prayer: A fun way to introduce the idea of prayer is through a book and this one does it well. My son was able to make a connection with the father figure in the book on the prayer mat and his own. He would point and describe that the person was praying while excitedly looking at his own father.
- Hijab: Though my son would see me wearing the hijab, it wasn’t something I actively taught him to say. His introduction to the word was from the lovely depiction in this book.
- Mosque: The association of the minaret was something he picked up from this book as well learning that what he knew as a “masjid” was also a “mosque”.
- Quran: His association of the Quran was primarily the recitation of it, followed by perhaps an understanding that it is also in the form of a book. This read was able to communicate that to him in a colorful and fun way.
- Dates: Just in time for Ramadan this year, my son was also able to recognize and say the word ‘dates’ from his reads of this book with Baba.
Though the recommended age for this book is 3 – 7 years, I loved that this was a fun read with lots to learn even before that. I see myself continuing to keep this in our story time rotation for a few years, and once he learns to read it is a whole new experience.