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The Masjid Kamal Loves

Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel



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About The Book

From the author of Not Quite Snow White comes a story about a young Muslim boy celebrating the many reasons he loves going to his local masjid in this jubilant and playful picture book perfect for fans of Mommy’s Khimar and Abdul’s Story.

Friday is Kamal’s favorite day of the week because he gets to go to the masjid for Jumu’ah prayer. The masjid is where he can be with his friends, hear the teachings of the imam, and pray with the community that he loves so dearly. He just can’t help the bounce in his step, the smile on his face, or the joy bubbling up in his chest every time Friday rolls around!

Inspired by the famous nursery rhyme “This Is the House That Jack Built,” each spread in this buoyant picture book builds on the rhythmic list of things Kamal loves about the masjid.

About The Author

Photograph by author

Ashley Franklin is the author of Not Quite Snow White; “Creative Fixes” from the anthology Once Upon an Eid; “Situationally Broke” from the anthology What We Didn’t ExpectBetter Together, CinderellaThe Masjid Kamal Loves; and more. Ashley received her master’s degree in English literature from the University of Delaware. She is an adjunct college instructor and proud mom. Ashley currently resides in Arkansas with her family.

About The Illustrator

Aaliya Jaleel is a Sri-Lankan American illustrator who loves illustrating bright, bold color palettes and floral themes. Some of her works include the books Under My Hijab, Muslim Girls Rise, and The Masjid Kamal Loves. Aaliya also works as a designer for animation.

Why We Love It

“Kamal’s joy is so contagious in this story! You can’t help but smile along as Kamal moves through the masjid. And though he may unknowingly cause a little bit of a ruckus, it’s clear that he loves his community. This book is a celebration of faith through the eyes of a sweet, mischievous child.”

—Deeba Z., Editor, on The Masjid Kamal Loves

Product Details

  • Publisher: Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (June 20, 2023)
  • Length: 32 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534499836
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8

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Raves and Reviews

* “[E]ach page of this ‘The House That Jack Built’–style tale is a lyrical, rhythmic celebration of those ‘who come to the masjid Kamal loves,’ making it a stellar choice to read aloud. Bold illustrations demonstrate the ways that children participate in the community in the open spaces of the masjid. …A welcome and much-needed tale that highlights the true diversity of the Muslim community.”Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

Awards and Honors

  • Kirkus Best Picture Books of the Year

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this illustrator: Aaliya Jaleel