Ramadan Kareem – Happy Ramadan.

Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims. According to gulfnews.com, it was the time when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad. Lasting about 30 days, Ramadan sees Muslims fasting during daylight hours as well as giving to charity.

I don’t have a lot of knowledge about the Islamic faith, but Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan ($24.99, Raincoast Books, Chronicle Kids) certainly gave me a great overview.

There were a lot of words I didn’t understand in the book, but thankfully author Hene Khan provided a glossary at the back along with a pronunciation guide.

“Hexagon is a tile, bold and bright, painted with an Ayah I love to recite.”

“Ayah (EYE-uh) is a verse of the holy Quran, the book that guides Muslims, that may be displayed and recited to affirm one’s faith or uplift one in a moment of need.”

The author’s note was super interesting and helped me understand why the book featured shapes.

“Shapes and geometry play an important part in Islamic art and architecture,” Khan writes.

“Because the worship of idols is strictly forbidden in Islam, depictions of God and his prophets are prohibited. Muslim artists are also discouraged from using the human form or animals in their art. Instead, they often use decorative Arabic lettering, called calligraphy, motifs from nature (like flowers and leaves) called arabesques, and, as seen in this book, geometric patterns in their designs.”

The author also writes that each spread in the book depicts a different country around the world with examples of Islamic art.

While I don’t like the illustrations of the people, the book itself is colourful and bright. I look forward to reading it to my nine year old.

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review. The opinions are my own.