Zaydo Potato: Can Allah See Me Now? by Randa Taftaf and Maz Galini illustrated by Lovyaa Garg
The book starts off simple enough with a little boy, Zayd playing hide-and-seek with his friend (or maybe cousin), Kareem, and his cat Pepper, when the challenge of hiding where they can’t be found, spawns a lesson in how Allah (swt) is always watching and watching over us. As the kids hide in different places, the mom uses the names of Allah (swt) to emphasize the point. The story presents the names of Al-Baseer, the All-seeing, Al Aleem, the All-knowing, Al-Khabeer, the All-aware, Al-Raqeeb, the Watchful, and Al-Shaheed, the Witness.
The book is 32 pages, with the story taking up 24 of those pages. An ayat from the Quran, surah Hadid verse 4, starts the story and there is a glossary of the names of Allah at the end. There is also some suggested activities for the book. Hidden on each page is Pepper the cat and a potato. There are other activities of finding shapes, counting blocks, finding different animals, etcetera, that encourage children to go back to the book to engage in the pictures, and inshaAllah the message presented.
There are two books thus far in the series and one E-book, the order doesn’t matter, as each is a standalone book. The husband and wife authoring team also have a publishing company, Rummana Publishing Inc, and based on their website seem to have plans for more in the future. This book came out about six months ago, and with its Glossy cover and large colorful pages, children will enjoy the story and activites. The pictures are warm and engaging, and overall they are very well done. The sentences are short, and the amont of words on the page is appropriate for the target audience. There seems to be some arrant spacing on new text lines, but I doubt anyone would notice, and a few sentences are awkward either in their wording or lacking commas, but again, it is minor.
A good story premise, easily conveyed to younger Muslims, makes the book an asset for Muslim children establishing a foundation and building a relationship with Allah swt.