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Key to the Garden

The beginning of this book by Homely Hammock confused me. Nothing happened, and all of a sudden there is a conflict. I assume from the picture that the mother said no to buying a toy for Ihsan, the boy in the story, but I wish the words clarified it.⠀ ⠀ Second off, reading the next few pages about his screams, how his hand burned on the doorknob, and how he was traumatized by fire and a stranger felt traumatizing to me. I did not read it to my five year old, because I was afraid it would give her nightmares.⠀ ⠀ I also don’t understand why the book is suggesting to young children that they will be burned in hell-fire for throwing a tamtrum and being mad at their mother for not buying a toy for them. While the ideal is to teach kids to not behave badly to parents, kids often throw tantrums and learning how to control their emotions is part of growing up. Threats of the horrors of hell-fire don’t make sense to me as a learning method, especially in children’s books.⠀ ⠀ I honestly feel like the first part of the book is not even necessary, but the second part was better. The duaa for protection from hell-fire, the better treatment towards the mother, and the descriptions of Jannah were useful and beneficial to learn. I did think it was a little strange though that he was transported to Jannah, and I am not sure, but it might even be Islamically not okay to say in a book that he actually drank from Al-Kawthar and experienced Jannah.⠀ ⠀ The ultimate message of the book was that getting to Jannah and avoiding Jahanmam is through good treatment of mothers. ⠀ ⠀ I do believe in teaching my kids about Heaven/Hell and I have generally talked about being good and being rewarded for it and how being evil is bad. But for my kids, for now, I stress the rewards more than the punishments, and I talk about Allah’s forgiveness a lot.⠀


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