Saturday, July 28, 2012

Review: Eyewitness Books Islam

Eyewitness Books: Islam by Philip Wilkinson

This informational book provides an in-depth view at Islam and the traditions, values, faith, culture, and history that have shaped the modern Islamic world. There are many real artifacts in this book. Each page provides a paragraph on information about Islam and then the rest of the two page spread has artifacts with a little caption about how it relates to the main topic of that page.

The book starts with a Table of Contents that overviews the topics on the two page spreads. There are pages about Islam in different countries as well. The author worked with Batul Salazar, the Editorial consultant. There are no listed sources of where the author got the information for this book, but I think the collaboration with an authority on the topic gave the author credibility. The last text page has the Index and Acknowledgments.
The author would like to thank:
Batul Salazar for correcting errors and mistakes of judgment, and for sharing knowledge and sources of information with such generosity and good humor. (p. 64)
All of the images in the book are pictures rather than illustrations. I think that is very important to show authenticity. The end pages in this book are full of pictures of all of the other Eyewitness Books. At the time of the publishing of this book there were only 122 books.

Eyewitness Books is a very influential series of nonfiction books for children and teenagers. They have published over 175 titles on a wide variety of topics from World War II to fish and photography to epidemic.

Booklist reviewed the Eyewitness Book series with the following:
What DK did—with almost revolutionary panache—was essentially to reinvent nonfiction books by breaking up the solid pages of gray type that had previously been their hallmark, reducing the text to bite-size, nonlinear nuggets that were then surrounded by pictures that did more than adorn—they also conveyed information. Usually full color, they were so crisply reproduced they "seemed to leap off the page."
Religion is often a topic that parents do not want their child learning about in school, but I think it's important to provide children with information. As long as the teacher is not prescribing a specific religion to the children, it's okay to provide background information. It's also important to include books about all different religions, not just Islam. Informational books on religion are a great way to introduce multicultural education into the classroom.

PBS has created a movie called Islam: Empire of Faith for more information about the history of Islam.

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