Enjoying Islamic Books with your Children
July 13, 2022
(a parent’s guide to using our Islamic children’s books)
The benefits of reading are widely known. It increases empathy, improves self-esteem, and raises job prospects (Reading Agency, 2015-18). Reading teaches us about different periods, cultures, and ways of life. Did you know that LaLaBooks was created by two dads whose children found Islamic stories difficult to understand? By translating them into simple language (with super-fun illustrations), we’ve made them accessible to children as young as 2.
Here are our top tips for reading Islamic books (and any other books) to your children.
Make Books Fun
Don’t stash away your favourite Islamic books “in case they get messy”. Read to your baby before they know words, or start even sooner: many parents read Islamic books out loud to a baby-bump! Your child is never too young to look at a book. When they’re very little, that will involve grabbing, testing and chewing books – let it be OK. Having books around means they’ll get ragged sometimes, but it also means that your kids will always expect to see books around.
Make Story-time Count
We’re all incredibly busy. We don’t always feel that we have time to sit down and read (…well, the dishwasher hasn’t been emptied and the stairs always seem to need vacuuming). The best advice we’ve found is to make reading part of your routine. If it’s timetabled then you won’t feel that you should be doing something else, and your child will know when to expect it. There is something very cosy about settling down for a few minutes of reading; so permit yourself the time to do it, and put your other duties on hold. Turn off the TV and devices and sit together with a book. It doesn’t need to be longer than ten minutes – in fact, that’s the magic number, according to the National Literacy Trust!
Ask and Answer Questions
At reading time, interruptions, laughter, and silly questions are okay. Even if they’re stalling because they don’t want to go to bed… yes, even if they test your patience. During the story, invite interactions, sound effects, and questions. When the hero is faced with a tricky decision, pause to ask your child: “what would you do?”
Afterwards, it’s a great idea to ask a question like “what would you pack if you were travelling through time?” or “how would you escape from a whale’s stomach?” to deepen their understanding. Nothing brings a story to life like imagining yourself in the middle of it – and that’s why our Islamic children’s books are all personalised!
A Life Filled With Books
Book-filled lives breed readers. So carry your books around. Leave your own books beside the sofa and the bed. Fill bookshelves. Take picture books when you go to the park or for a picnic. Take a book when you visit relatives (in case the children get bored). Take books to the doctor, dentist, and hairdresser.
Talk about books you’ve read – recently and as a child – with your family, too. Tell them about new things you have learned, and share a love for stories. Buy or borrow all the books you can (especially our Islamic picture books). Raise adventurous readers – soon they will be reading their own Islamic books and developing a deep love for reading.