Its that wonderful time of year where we all feel excitement for our fellow brothers and sisters on Hajj, and anticipation for the coming of Eid.

I’ve been following Shade 7 Publishing for some time on Instagram and had been planning to buy their book ‘The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play book‘ for my boys for Eid al-Adha.

Well, I was thrilled when the publishers reached out to me and offered to send me a copy to review, as well as offering all my readers a DISCOUNT CODE on the price of the book. I am so excited to share this beautiful book with you all.

‘The Story of the Elephant’ is an Islamic children’s book based on Surah al Feel (Chapter 105) of the Holy Quran.

For those unfamiliar with the story:

The tyrant ruler of Yemen, Abraha, leads his army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka’ba. Allah sends a great flock of birds to protect His house, they drop stones onto the soldiers from a great height and the whole army perishes. 

It’s the perfect story for a children’s book! 
Uniquely, this play book features pop-ups, interactive flaps and tabs, as well as a colouring map and press-out elephants to re-create the story. It is suitable for ages 3+.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The army of elephants!

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Beautiful bird pop-up

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The Ka’ba – Dramatic End to the Book

I thought it would be fun to make a YouTube Video of my first impressions when I opened up the book. I hope the video will be useful for you to see inside this book and help you get a feel for it. It’s my first ever Youtube Video, so please forgive my amateur videography skills! I’ll get better insha’Allah!


Well, my thoughts on this book are…it’s brilliant! 
Firstly, its is really well written. It kept my boys engaged and interested.The language used is pitched at the right level, being neither too complicated for little ones, nor to simplistic. 
“Abraha was so cross, he sent an army of elephants to Mecca to destroy the Ka’ba stone by stone.”
Secondly, the paper is thick and glossy, and will withstand whatever little hands try to do to it!

My favourite bit…Pull the tab and the elephant kneels down!

Pull the tab to watch the stones drop

The illustrations are beautifully hand-drawn and the pop-ups are completely charming! My kids were so excited when they saw them:
“Wow!”
“Look Mummy, the elephant’s got a hat on!”
“Look at that! Look at that!”
“The Ka’ba!!!”
I particularly appreciated how the publishers have incorporated a little Seerah into the book. They mention that the year of the elephant is the same year that our beloved Prophet was born in, and talks a little about Abdul Muttalib. They add another dimension to the educational experience by referring back to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and the duaa he made to protect Mecca.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Abdula Muttalib’s camels

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The duaa of Abdul Muttalib

The book also features some duaas in Arabic, which are very clearly written, with vowel markings, transliteration and translations, so anyone and everyone can benefit from them. 
There’s a simple quiz at the end to reinforce what your children have learnt, with the answers hidden underneath yet another flap!
The book contains a large pocket at the back that contains the colouring map and a press-out card Ka’ba and loads of elephants. One way you could use this is to re-create the elephants approach to Mecca using these press-out figures. For kids that enjoy hands-on learning activities, this is great way to reinforce what they have heard and bring the story to life.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Colouring in his Ka’ba

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
“I’ve got the mummy elephant! You’ve got the baby one!”

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
The whole family joined it!

My 5 year-old son loves this part in particular! He keeps bringing out the map and adding more and more detail to it. Then he sets up all the elephants and the Ka’ba with great satisfaction! Unfortunately its all a bit to fiddly for my 3 year-old to do on his own, so he’s happy looking through the book again and again, pulling all the tabs and lifting the flaps.

The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Using this map to revise geography
The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review
Reenacting the approach of the Abraha’s army 

This book is definitely robust enough for young children. So far it has survived some serious love from my little ones!
‘The Story of the Elephant’ makes teaching this Quranic tale, not only easy, but a really special and memorable experience for children. It has to be my kids’ favorite Islamic Children’s book at the moment. 
It is not just a picture book, or a pop-up book, its a whole educational experience. It encourages learning and love for the Quran in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels . We even used it to teach Geography, History, Character building and Islamic history. 
I highly recommend this book. We absolutely love it!

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT CODE:

The publishers have very generously asked me to pass on a DISCOUNT CODE to you all. 
This discount is exclusive to the readers of Our Muslim Homeschool. 

US Residents 

Receive 45% DISCOUNT off the cost of the book. 
Visit TAQWA MEDIA and enter the Discount Code OMHS2015 at the checkout.
This is offer is limited to the first 6 copies sold.
Thereafter, it will entitle the customer to 20% discount. This offer is only valid for then next 2 weeks.

UK Resident and REST OF THE WORLD

Receive 20% discount off the cost of the book.
Visit SHADE 7 PUBLISHING and enter the Coupon Code OMHS2015 on the ‘Cart’ page.

It is only valid for the next 7 days.
(09.00GMT Saturday 12th September to 09.00GMT Saturday 19th September 2015)
Shade 7 Publishing have also created a cross-curricular 6 week lesson plan pack to go along with this book, for children in years Reception to Key Stage 2. It conforms with the New 2014 National Curriculum framework in the UK. 
For my followers the publishers have agreed to:
1 Book + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £49.99 (inc. UK shipping).
3 Books + 6 week Lesson Plan Pack for £99 (inc. UK shipping).
If you live outside of the U.K. contact them directly for shipping costs. 
If you are interested in the lesson plan pack, then email them at info@shade7.co.uk  to arrange purchase. 
We will be working through some of these lesson plans over the coming weeks insha’Allah. I will keep you all up to date and show you how we have been using them on my Instagram and Facebook accounts.
The Story of the Elephant Surah al-Feel Book Review

I hope you found this review helpful. If anything is unclear, or you need more information, please leave a comment for me down below and I will do my best to answer your questions. 
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Thank you so much for stopping by our blog!
  
Please remember us in your duaas.  


Peace and Love.

Disclaimer: Shade 7 Publishing sent me a complimentary copy of this book. This review was NOT sponsored. All opinions expressed are genuine! 
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7 Comments on Book Review | The Story of the Elephant Pop-up and Play Book

  1. Brit Deshi Mummy
    14/09/2015 at 6:06 pm (5 years ago)

    I've seen this book around social media lately! It looks awesome I just love the illustrations. My baba's only 9months old but inshallah when's his older I will start collecting a little library of books for him 💖

    Reply
  2. Zainab Dokrat
    15/09/2015 at 8:52 am (5 years ago)

    Love this idea, my small cousins are home schooled so will be sharing the link with my aunt. For some educational craft time.

    Reply
  3. Unknown
    15/09/2015 at 3:32 pm (5 years ago)

    Mashaallah this book looks very well designed! I don't think my children are old enough for it yet but we will definitely add it to our list for the next few years!

    – Suhaila (www.playunpenned.com)

    Reply
  4. Unknown
    15/09/2015 at 3:32 pm (5 years ago)

    Mashaallah this book looks very well designed! I don't think my children are old enough for it yet but we will definitely add it to our list for the next few years!

    – Suhaila (www.playunpenned.com)

    Reply
  5. TheMuslimahGuide
    16/09/2015 at 8:09 pm (5 years ago)

    Having seen your Instagram pics on the activities of the book, I am tempted to get it. But I don't think my kids are old enough yet.

    Reply
  6. Aishah I
    20/09/2015 at 5:59 pm (5 years ago)

    I love books with pop ups mash'Allah
    Make the story come alive!

    Reply

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