The Blessed Bananas (Author : Tayyaba Syed , Illustrator :Melani Putri)
As-salamu-alaikum pretty people! Hope you all are doing well. It’s been quite a while that I have written something. And today, I’m here with a review of a children’s book named “The Blessed Bananas” written by “Tayyaba Syed” and illustrated by “Melani Putri”.
There’s a saying in urdu which goes like this: “Chote bachche geeli mitti ki tarah hote hai, jaise banaoge waise banege”, which means(rough translation though :p) “kids are like wet clay, they stay in the shape you make out of them”
Kids, when ripe and young need to be taught certain traits that would help them grow as better individuals.. the first ones being Tawheed and tawakkul. These two will serve as the foundation, strong and stiff to help the building stand straight, i.e., to help them grow as better individuals and in turn create a better place to live in.
And what could be the best way to teach them, other than the way they love the most… .. i.e., reading stories to them. I had my nephews at home a few days back, and I chose to read this book(e-book), “The Blessed Bananas” to them. So the next few paragraphs.. I’ll let you know what is their review about the book.. only one of the two could say something on how he felt about the book.. the other is just 2 years old.. But he was a very good listener who replied to every line I read, in his own language, whether he understood it or not. lol. Anyways, let’s begin..
The story is about an old, cranky monkey who lives on top of a banana tree and does not like to share his tree and bananas with anyone “at all”. But after a few sudden events.. his life changes completely.. and those events transform the plain bananas to “blessed bananas” for the cranky monkey. (What.. expect me to tell the full story.. naaahhhhh, read it yourself and read it to kids around you. For sure you’ll enjoy)
About the author:
Tayyaba Syed is an award-winning author and freelance journalist. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including NPR, Islamic Horizons, Azizah Magazine, Chicago Crescent, Halal Consumer and Chicago Parent. She also co-authored four chapter books in the popular kids’ seriesJannah Jewels. Tayyaba works as the Research Specialist for Daybreak Press and a Curriculum Consultant for Whitestone Foundation’s Author Development Program. She also designs unique plots for Noor Kids educational books as their Creative Developer.
About the illustrator :
Melani Putri is an illustrator based in Jakarta, Indonesia. After finishing her visual art education at Bandung Institute of Technology, she has been focusing on children’s book illustration and has won the National Folktale Illustration award in 2016. Her illustration works include children’s books, greeting cards, posters and stationary.
The first thing that strikes a kid while reading a story is the illustration! And the elder one was soooo excited to see the amazing illustrations, colourful, bright and cute little animals, that speak. He would tell me to zoom at every picture to have a nice look. The little one loved the cranky monkey! I must say, I too loved the pictures. Hats off to “Melani Putri” for the beautiful illustrations.
My nephews loved the story a lot(So much, that they made me read it again and again lol), the appearance of new animal characters one after the other, their pretty dialogues, the precise usage of salam and durood. The elder one loved it when the cranky monkey learnt a lesson.
The Blessed Bananas, is a beautiful story with a perfect mixture of Islamic elements. In short words A Masterpiece by Tayyaba Syed.
I extremely loved the usage of salam before every conversation the characters had, little animals making dua when in difficulty, the trust in Allah they had, also specifies the importance of reciting salawat upon the Prophet(PBUH) and the most important lesson of the many lessons the story contains,i.e., giving is earning.
It is perfectly put together to help kids learn many qualities to build a beautiful personality. I would highly recommend this book, “The Blessed Bananas” to all parents and aunts(like me), this book will surely be in the top list of books for my nephews and will definitely be so to others as well, in sha Allah. And yes.. the last few pages of the book contain some special recipes for the kids.. NOTE: You will be forced by the tiny tots to make those recipes, because they seem to be very delicious.
So, that’s it people. JazakAllahu Khair to the beautiful people, Tayyaba Syed and Melani Putri for making it easy to teach Islamic values to kids.
Until next time Salam 🙂