The Story of the Elephant by Hajera Memon

Hello everyone!

Today’s review is something rather different. In modern society, discussing faith and religion from an early age is paramount to opening minds, promoting tolerance and an understanding of the very diverse world we live in today. A great way to promote learning is reading and sharing stories from the Bible, Quran and Torah. It’s also important to make these books as engaging as possible! This is where The Story of the Elephant comes into its own.

It is the world’s first Quranic pop up book and is the result of many hours of work to make it as accurate to the Surah, or chapter, in the Quran as possible. In 570AD, the ruler Abraha sets out on an army of elephants to destroy the Ka’ba, it’s protectors armed only with prayers. The Ka’ba is a holy site to Muslims and is located in Mecca, the direction Muslims pray in 5 times a day. It is also a place of pilgrimage, or Hajj, that Muslims should undertake at least once in their lives.

Front Cover

Front Cover

This book is visually stunning. The illustrations are hand drawn and really eye catching. There are different textures, colours and with the pop ups, it really comes to life. There are also pull down flaps to interact with.

The book truly comes to live with these illustrations

The book truly comes to live with these illustrations

Look at the detail!

Look at the detail!

The book tells the story of The Elephant in a really engaging way. Beebop was poorly on the day we got this book delivered and when we read this, it was the first time all day she stopped crying! It’s a great book for families to share as it’s eye catching enough for babies and interactive for older children (don’t leave young babies unsupervised with it, due to small parts and high risk of pulling off the pop up sections!)

It is also brilliant for sharing in schools in religious classes, both for faith schools and secular schools. It also comes with a question and answer section, as well as an activity pack at the back of the book (beautifully sealed, it’s almost a shame to open it!) so children can do a lesson around the surah and share it with their friends. It is also explained in a way that uses Islamic terms but it in a way where it is understandable to everyone, regardless of faith.

We really loved this book and it is one we will keep coming back to again and again.

Shade 7, the book’s publisher, has their own Twitter, Facebook and website for you to purchase the book and keep up to date on their forthcoming work. They also donate 25 books for every 1000 sold to children who otherwise would have no access to education, in partnership with READ. To read more about Hajera’s amazing journey to creating Shade 7, click here.

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