Discovering Islamic Art
A Young Reader’s Guide with Activities
Author(s): Mary Beardwood
Reviewed by: Cleo Cantone, London, UK
As a mother and an art historian, I really enjoyed this book. What follows may appear biased on the latter side but I have taken the opportunity to have a go at some of the activities with my nine year-old daughter. Mary Beardwood’s activity book certainly fills a gap in the market for both children’s literature on art in particular and Islam in general. There is a dearth of attractively illustrated and informative books not just for Muslim children but also for non-Muslim children wanting to learn about Islam. Which begs the question: is this book addressed to the former or the latter? Overall, I think the author has managed to capture both audiences, for a non-Muslim reader will find enough information to guide him or her through the various activities and, where details are lacking, be none the wiser. For a Muslim reader, however, there may be a few pot-holes; but again, assuming they are under ten, this may not be an obstacle especially when the main aim of the book is to instruct through being creative—not just artistically, but also mathematically.