Let It Go: Learning the Lesson of Forgiveness by Na’ima B. Robert and Mufti Menk, illustrated by Samantha Chaffey. The Islamic Foundation, 9780860377979, 2020
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Picture Book
What did you like about the book? This story is used to introduce young children to one of the core traits of Islam – forgiveness. The story follows a young boy through a very typical daily routine. He wakes up on a beautiful sunny day and is very excited about what the day might bring for him. However, as the day progresses, there are several disappointments that test his ability to forgive. First, his sister eats the last piece of toast. Later in the day he is excluded from a game with friends and has his soccer ball deflated by a moving car. At dinner, his brother makes fun of a story he is telling and he lashes out his anger by teasing his younger sister. As he is thinking in bed that night, all the events of the day are swirling in his head and he realizes that everyone makes mistakes and forgiveness is important to begin a new day. He wakes up the next morning ready to begin a new day. Even though there are several sections in this book that reference praying to Allah, I can see this book being useful to children of all faiths or of no particular faith. The scenarios in the story are very common to many children, as are the feeling of this young boy. This story provides a great opportunity for parents and children to discuss those feelings of being left out or having some sort of disappointment – and more importantly, how to let go of those feelings.
I loved the illustrations provided by Samantha Chaffey, in that the cute little details made the story seem real to many children – especially the facial expressions on the little boy’s face as his emotions escalate throughout the day. I especially loved the illustration of him reflecting on his day and how all these thoughts were swirling in his head almost like boats tossing around in the ocean – a good way of showing how someone in this situation might be feeling at the end of a particularly stressful day.
Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of four and eleven years old, especially if they have experienced some similar scenarios in their own lives.
Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, anyone who works with children between the ages of four and eleven years old.
Where would you shelve it? Picture Books
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.
Date of review: March 19, 2021