Time To Pray

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In an unspecified middle eastern country, Yasmin is visiting her grandmother. She hears the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer, but is too sleepy to get up. The next day, she asks her grandmother about the prayers, and her grandmother plans a day of expeditions, to teach Yasmin the Muslim traditions and to prepare her for joining in the prayers. Together they purchase fabric for prayer clothes and a prayer rug to kneel on, and visit a local mosque. During the days of her visit, Yasmin practices her prayers, and as her visit comes to an end, she worries that she will not know the time for prayer when she returns home, where no muezzin issues the calls. But her grandmother has planned for this, and includes in her luggage the surprise gift of a miniature mosque, with a prayer clock timer that makes the sound of the muezzin calling to prayer. While this is a book designed to teach readers about the Muslim prayer traditions, it goes well beyond that, giving a picture of a warm and loving relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, and the joy that can come from the sharing of traditions between generations. The book ends with an explanation of the five daily prayers that make up the Muslim day of worship. The Arabic translation sections (in Arabic script) add visual interest to the pages for English readers, and the designs and patterns in the illustrations evoke the rich heritage and exotic feel of the middle eastern cultures, incorporating Islamic geometric designs and depictions of Arab architecture into the story. A good choice of materials to celebrate diversity and multiculturalism.

Recommended by Linda Lucke, Librarian.

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