Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers

By John Dougherty

From the back cover

Welcome to the kingdom of Great Kerfuffle!

Great Kerfuffle is really great. And there’s usually a kerfuffle (the clue’s in the name really). This particular kerfuffle started the day Stinkbomb’s twenty dollar bill went missing. Stinkbomb and his little sister Ketchup-Face know exactly who took it: the badgers. After all, they’re called badgers because they do bad things; otherwise they’d just be gers.

They bring news of the badgers’ treachery to King Toothbrush Weasel (don’t get us started on the story behind his name…), who sends them on a quest to rid the land of badgers. What follows is a full on kerfuffle-fest, containing: one deep dark forest, a grocery cart in distress, a song about jam-and, of course, a band of very tricky badgers.

Be prepared to laugh your socks off, and maybe your ears, too.

My thoughts…

This was a very funny, cute read. The plot goes in many random directions while maintaining a light, silly atmosphere. As an adult, I am not ashamed to say that I found myself giggling sometimes while reading it.

In a gist…

Extramarital Love/Relationship

None

Violence

None

Profanity

Ketchup-Face calls her brother an idiot and a “stupid frog-flavored envelope” in chapter 21.

Smoking/Intoxicants

None

Degradation of Family/Islamic Values

None

Positive messages

A nice big brother-little sister relationship is portrayed where they go on a silly adventure and work towards the same goal.

Final Verdict

The funny, easy-to-read nature of the book makes it a great choice for reluctant readers and young children in general.

Princess Siyana’s Pen

By Zainab Merchant

Description by amazon.ca

When evil Shargor captures the baby Princess Siyana and leaves her in a barren land, he thinks his dreams have come true, and that the kingdom of Lusitania is his to rule forever. But as the beautiful and talented princess grows up at El Sol Orphanage in Baetica, her deep connection to God is strengthened with every letter she writes, using her special pen. It seems Siyana never knows her true purpose, until the day of the tornado…

Share in Siyana’s epic journey home, as she learns to put her truest and faith in God alone!

My thoughts…

This book would be a favourite among young readers. After the kidnapping of Princess Siyana, the Kingdom of Lusitania falls into chaos and the evil advisor imprisons the King and Queen. Siyana grows up in an orphanage where she is taught about Islamic values and wears the hijab. One day, a tornado hits the land and forces her back to her hometown of Lusitania. There, she learns about her past and vows to restore peace to her land with the help of Allah SWT.

In a gist…

Extramarital Love/Relationship

None.

Violence

Princess Siyana gets kidnaped a few days after her birth.

Profanity

None.

Smoking/Intoxicants

None.

Degradation of Family/Islamic Values

None.

Positive messages

Princess Siyana “always wore hijab since she was 9 years old”
There is an emphasis on the attributes of Allah throughout the book: “All Knowing” , “Most Merciful”, “Great Creator”, “helped anyone that called on Him” etc.
There is also an emphasis on the wisdom of the hijab “You don’t have to look pretty for other people. Just as we wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we shouldn’t judge people by the way they look. What is on the inside and the way you act is much more important. Hijab reminds us that we should have an outstanding character”. “God is very happen when we wear the hijab!”

Final Verdict

This is a wonderful book for young girls to read and be inspired by a fictional, but well-mannered Muslim character. A number of paragraphs inserted to instil awareness of Allah and His attributes as well as the importance of wearing a hijab for girls. The book ends with a nice recipe for coconut macaroons (Which are referenced in the book as the parrot’s favourite treat), a maze to help Princess Siyana get home, and a blank page titled “My Letter to God” to inspire young kids to write down their Dua’s and wishes.