Review: Zahra’s Blessing

Whether you’re celebrating Ramadan or just looking to learn more about the holiday, I have a wonderful selection for you today. Zahra’s Blessing: A Ramadan Story by Shirin Shamsi and Manal Mirza is not just an introduction to the Islamic holiday, but a wonderful story of kindness, compassion, and hope.

Title: Zahra’s Blessing: A Ramadan Story
Author: Shirin Shamsi
Illustrator: Manal Mirza
Publisher: Barefoot Books
Published: March 29, 2022
Format: Picture Book

This beautiful picture book follows a young Muslim girl named Zahra as she and her family take part in Ramadan. Her family donates and volunteers at a local shelter. They also fast during the day, and break their fast with delicious food and prayers at night. Zahra prays for a sister and that she can find her lost teddy. Young readers will follow Zahra through Ramadan as she volunteers at the local shelter and makes friends with a young refugee, all the way to Eid al-Fitr (the end of Ramadan) when Zahra gets an unexpected answer to both of her prayers.

The illustrations by Manal Mirza are wonderful! The bold colors draw you in, but I especially appreciated the way patterns and designs are used on every page, creating so much beautiful detail.

The backmatter contains more detail about several topics covered, including Ramadan, fasting, Eid, displacement, shelters, and foster care, giving readers a great opportunity to learn more about the themes in this book.

Zahra’s Blessing is available to purchase wherever you normally buy books, including Bookshop and Amazon. (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Publisher Spotlight and Barefoot Books for sharing this beautiful book with me.

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you who are observing Ramadan! May you find the same joy and gratitude that Zahra finds in her story.

About the Author:

When Shirin Shamsi became a mother, she began writing stories her own children would see themselves in. She currently li5ves in the city of Darien, Illinois, USA, with her husband and cat. When she’s not busy writing for children, Shirin spends her days sharing her love of Barefoot Books as an independent bookseller in her community.

About the Illustrator:

Manal Mirza is a designer and illustrator based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Manal creates her paintings digitally and draws inspiration from her experiences. Being a young Muslim American Pakistani woman, her illustrations highlight the different identities that she juggles day to day. Manal brings her own positive outlook to her work, aiming to empower women around the world.

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