The Boy and The Owl
Author – Siraaj Mowjood
Illustrator – Aisha Changezi
Publisher – Fons Vitae
Hardcover 24 pages
A picture book that helps children better understand the Islamic belief of the attributes of God.
In this children’s tale, a wise owl explains some of the deeper aspects of the Islamic belief. This story focuses on the part of a poem written by the famous Shaykh Muhammad b. Ja’far al-Kattani that deals with how we can know anything about God. It describes 13 essential attributes, in a way a child can understand: God has speech, power, hearing, sight, will, and knowledge and is attributed with life.”
This is a large, beautifully produced picture book, with detailed illustrations that perfectly complement the very introspective nature of the explanations.
Targeted at ages 5-7, the book seeks to describe the fundamental attributes of Allah that children (and adults) need to know. The introduction explains the author’s reasons for writing the book, his sources and his intentions, which is great for parents and teachers who need a quick read-up for clarification.
Explaining complex concepts to children can be very difficult and can go very wrong if done incorrectly. By using a ‘friendly-looking’ picture book, with a young character they can relate to, and eye-catching illustrations, the author and illustrator have made this into a visual learning tool that is age-appropriate and appealing. Instead of being overwhelmed by the complexities, children will easily be able to understand what is being taught because of the clever use of comparisons and analogies, as well as contrasts.
The illustrations are striking. For a book of this nature, which is so meditative and thoughtful, the illustration needed to match it. And they absolutely do. Each one of the pages draws the reader in – they are wistful and contemplative. Aisha Changezi has also, very cleverly, included a hidden shahada in every one of the pages. See if you can find them!
The book is now available on Fons Vitae and is available for pre-order on Amazon. It is also available on iBooks, with an interesting bonus feature – you can tap on each illustration and see the hidden shahada highlighted, while the rest of the image fades away!