time to pray picture book giveaway!

Maha with Time to Pray and her first book, The White Nights of Ramadan.

Recently I attended a booksigning at my local Barnes & Noble for Maha Addasi’s new picture book, Time to Pray (Boyds Mills Press, 2010).

You may remember that I featured it in a special Soup of the Day post this past summer. This is a lovely story about Yasmin, who learns how to pray while visiting her grandmother in the Middle East. It’s beautifully illustrated with Ned Gannon’s oil paintings, which showcase the intricate geometric patterns and earth tones of Arab architecture.

No booksigning is complete without a little chocolate!

I picked up an extra copy and had Maha sign it for one lucky alphabet soup reader! Time to Pray would make a wonderful holiday gift or a welcome donation to any school library. High quality picture books about Arab/Islamic culture are rare and in high demand by educators. Time to Pray is a wonderful introduction to Salah, the five times a day worship practiced by Muslims, and will help satisfy the curiosity of American children. The bond between Yasmin and her grandmother makes for a warm, satisfying story that’s not in the least bit didactic, and it resonates on a universal level.

For a chance to win a signed copy of Time to Pray, simply leave a comment here no later than midnight (EST), Sunday, December 12th. You can also enter by emailing me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, with "Time to Pray Giveaway" in the subject line. Extra entries for tweeting, blogging, or Facebooking (just let me know in the comments). Open to U.S. residents only.     
"Familiarizing Islamic prayer through realistic fiction makes this a fine choice for most collections." ~ School Library Journal.

"A girl’s visit to her grandmother in an unnamed Middle Eastern town introduces her to her spiritual heritage in this visually arresting tale, which subtly addresses the challenges and importance of passing on faith traditions from one generation to the next." Publishers Weekly

Click here to read my Soup of the Day review, which includes spreads from the book.

♥ This post is brought to you by Fajr, the first, pre-dawn prayer of the day.

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

soup of the day: time to pray by maha addasi and ned gannon

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to congratulate dear friend Maha Addasi on the release of her second picture book, Time to Pray (Boyds Mills Press, 2010)!

Although its official pub date is not until September 1st, I wanted to let you know about this beautiful book now, since we are in the midst of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is being observed this year between August 11th and September 9th.

Prayer Room, King Hussein Ben Talal Mosque, Amman, Jordan (frankenschulz/flickr).

You may remember my review of Maha’s first book, The White Nights of Ramadan (Boyds Mills Press, 2008). Time to Pray is the perfect companion book to White Nights. It has been illustrated with more of Ned Gannon’s stunning oil paintings, and this time, there is a wonderful addition: an Arabic translation of the story by Maha’s mother, Nuha Albitar!

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chicken butts and other fine things

Maha Addasi and me (we both have very nice butts).

This past Sunday, I threw caution to the wind, grabbed my umbrella, and drove over to the Reston Regional Library to check out the Mid-Atlantic SCBWI New Member Welcome & Regional Get-together.

There were two very good reasons for going: writer pal, Maha Addasi (The White Nights of Ramadan), was going to be on the panel, and I was told there’d be cake.

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booksigning alert!

If you live in the Northern Virginia area, take note:

WHAT: Booksigning with Maha Addasi, 
           author of The White Nights of Ramadan

WHEN: Saturday, December 13, 12 – 4 p.m.

WHERE: Barnes & Noble, Fair Lakes Promenade
              (address and directions here).


Hope you’ll take this opportunity to meet Maha. There’s nothing more special than a signed book as a holiday gift. In case you missed my interview with Maha, click here. I also reviewed The White Nights of Ramadan here.

I’m definitely going to be there. Hope to see you!!

we have a winner!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to read my interview with Maha Addasi last week. Loved all your great comments!

Yesterday morning, we decided to pick the winner of our book giveaway while we were having breakfast.

Some of the kitchen help busied themselves raiding the tea cupboard.


But good old Breakfast Bear started out his day reading
The White Nights of Ramadan. For the 53rd time.


Since he’s such a big fan of Maha’s book, it seemed logical that he should pick the winner. So, we wrote everyone’s names on pieces of blue paper, and tossed them into his cereal bowl.


He loved all the names, he really did. He even wanted to eat them. So we had to compromise. If he picked one name, he would be allowed to make something yummy with it.

First, he gazed into the magic toaster.


Then, he played with some red raspberry jam (his favorite).


He worked for over an hour creating his masterpiece. When he was finally done, he wanted to eat it right away. But I convinced him to hold off awhile so I could show you what he made.


See the winner!