Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-07-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 32 user ratings

"Date: August 30th, 2014

Author: Hena Khan; Illustrations by Julie Paschkis

Title: Night of the Moon

Plot: Yasmeen is a young girl who is looking forward to Ramadan, a Islamic holiday. During Ramadan, Yasmeen will eat delicious foods, wear new clothes, attend a lot of parties and receive presents.

Setting: No setting identified; Time: Ramadan Holiday

Characters: Yasmeen

Point-of-View: Third-Person (Yasmeen is the main character)

Theme: Family, Tradition, Holiday

Style: Narrative

Copyright: 2008

Note: This is the first time I have read about the Ramadan, so it was really cool to see what exactly the meaning of the holiday was and what it represented. I think this would be great to place in a school library because I feel that it's important for students to learn about different holidays that they're not familiar with or don't celebrate in their own homes.
" said.

" A beautifully illustrated kids book that tells a friendly tale of celebrating Eid. Good for young readers and a great family read. " said.

"I really appreciated this book's explanation of the relation of the moon to Ramadan -- despite Under the Ramadan Moon 's emphasis on the Ramadan moon in its text (and art -- and now I'm curious to look at it again and see if the moon in the artwork tracks through the month like it should [spoilers: I was disappointed and would recommend this book over that one]), I didn't really get a sense of what the connection was. Whereas in this book the moon provides a frame for the month (Islam uses a lunar calendar) and carries our protagonist (and thus us) along through the month in a way that feels like a well-done narrative device, not a heavy-handed etc. teaching moment.

I liked the Islamic feeling illustrations -- and appreciated the two-page spread of the Night of the Moon celebration full of Muslims of a variety of presentations (women in hijab and women uncovered, darker-skinned people and lighter-skinned people) along with text subtly reminding us that Islam is a global religion (India, Turkey, etc.) and that different parts of the world have their own unique cultural offerings.
" said.

"Night of the Moon is a longer picture book, engaging, but still a bit long. In the line up of Ramadan books we’ve read it hasn’t been my most favorite, but it will make a solid addition to my library’s collection. While the story would be suitable for Muslim families to share there was a lot of defining within the text of “unfamiliar” terms so, to me at least, it felt like a story about Ramadan more for non-Muslim audiences.

BUT the best part of this book is the ending. Yasmeen receives a telescope for Eid! I love any book that promotes science and girls. Yasmeen is super excited to be able to use her new telescope to look at the moon more closely as she’s been following it all month. In fact, this would be a cool book to pair with an older story time that focuses on the moon or to encourage kids to go out and look at the moon. If you or your science department has a telescope that would make a cool library pairing too (I’m thinking specifically of school libraries for that).

I find Julie Paschkis’ illustrations to be charming. I’m not exactly sure what technique she uses, but I love the outlines around shapes and people in her pictures. The colors are bright and inviting even though many of the pictures have blue and green palettes for nighttime. There isn’t a lot of diversity of skin color among the people (they all look very white to me), but since I’ve reviewed a number of other books that look a little more reflective of the diversity in the Muslim community I’ll give this book a pass. The story and illustrations are strong enough.
" said.


This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello friends, and Ramadan Mubarak! Today marks the first day of the month of Ramadan, and since we wanted to learn more about this Muslim holy month, our book today was Night Of The Moon, written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Julie Paschkis. This story teaches the reader about Ramadan as seen through the eyes of a young girl named Yasmeen.

Yasmeen is seven years old, Pakistani-American, and Muslim. One night, her mother shows her the bare sliver of the new moon and explains that this begins Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and celebration for people of Islamic faith. As the new moon waxes and wanes, Yasmeen and her family attend celebrations with friends and relatives and services at their mosque. They practice kindness and community, and Yasmeen’s parents fast during the day to reflect on their blessings. Then, after the end of the month, the family and their community celebrate Eid, a festival filled with gifts, treats, and a brand new moon.

This was a fantastic book to introduce Ramadan and it’s customs to those just learning about it. Yasmeen and her family provide a wonderful narrative through the eyes of a child, relating the various celebrations, traditions, and beliefs in a concise and simple way. I especially loved how the passage of time was marked by the phases of the moon. The illustrations, heavily inspired by traditional Islamic art, are rich with color and design, and create a ton of visual interest for little readers. The length was fine, and JJ really liked this one, especially the art. This is a fantastic story about Ramadan, perfect for Muslim and non-Muslim readers alike to learn about and celebrate. Baby Bookworm approved!

Be sure to check out The Baby Bookworm for more reviews!
" said.

"Night of the Moon: Fact Filled and Fun and Not Just for Kids!
A Review By: Amelia

Interested in more book reviews? Check out my blog Bookworms Unite!(

I’m not going to lie: I don’t know a hell of a lot about Muslim culture. I never studied it in history classes, never took religion classes, and there’s little to none Muslim representation in anything I’ve ever seen on television or movies (which is probably the biggest factor of my ignorance). When I was asked a question about the holidays Muslim’s celebrate by the two little boys I look after, I had no idea how to answer. So I once again packed up the little rugrats and headed to my local library where I found the very helpful book Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story. Lucky or what?

The premise of Night of the Moon is a simple one. It follows Yasmeen, a seven-year-old Pakistani-American girl, as she and her family celebrates the Muslim holidays of Ramadan, The Night of the Moon, and Eid. It’s a story that offers a window into modern Muslim culture and into the ancient roots from within its traditions have grown.

The author of Night of the Moon is Hena Khan, a Pakistani-American Muslim who was born and raised in America but celebrated her native Pakistan’s culture and religion. She’s written many children’s books about the Muslim faith but she’s also covered topics from spies to space travel as well. The illustrator that she worked with on Night of the Moon was Julie Paschkis, an award winning illustrator with a long list of art schools under her belt and a BFA to top it all off.

The art style of Night of the Moon is perfect for the story it’s telling. It looks to be a thick acrylic style that’s intricate but not perfect. The paintbrush (or whatever tool was used to create the artwork) was held lightly and allowed to swoop and glide where it wanted. The main colour of the piece is blue and there is such a rich variety of blue that it creates an unbelievable lushness. It’s the perfect colour to focus on for a book about a Muslim holiday centred around the moon and it really does evoke just such a feeling of looking at traditional Islamic art.

The themes of this children’s book are very clearly laid out: it’s a book to teach children about Muslim holidays. Unlike other kid’s books Night of the Moon is not centred around teaching kids a moral lesson through clever use of talking animals. It takes a culturally authentic account of Ramadan, delivers it in a sensitive way to Muslim tradition, and holds onto its steadfast integrity. All thirty two pages of the piece are detailed and reverent of its Middle Eastern background and it’s done in a way to keep kid’s attention so that they learn about something that happens in the real world!

My final thoughts on Night of the Moon are that it’s an excellent book to read if you’re looking to help your children understand a different culture or if you yourself know nothing about Ramadan and want to dip your toes! The artwork is lush and gorgeous, the story helpful and entertaining and there’s even a glossary at the end of the book that goes over the Arabic words that are mentioned in the piece and how they relate to the Islamic faith. Overall, Night of the Moon is a good representation of Muslim holidays that’s beautiful, fact-filled, and respectful to the culture.

Interested in more book reviews? Check out my blog Bookworms Unite!(
" said.

" I really enjoyed reading this book to my kids for our studies about Islam. The artwork was engaging and I felt the story illustrated the Ramadan holiday well. " said.

" a very good perspective of Ramadan and Eid for people that don't know the culture and tradition of Islam. Hena Khan is using layers detail for children for a better understanding of this culture. " said.

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