In this post, we feature debut author M.O. Yuksel. You can hear her speak about her first picture book, In My Mosque, and try her fun “invitation to imagine” activity. You’ll also find other resources to explore. Thanks for joining us, and let us know what you think in the comments below!
- Written by M.O. Yuksel, and illustrated by Hatem Aly
- Published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books
- Release date: March 23, 2021
From grandmothers reading lines of the Qur’an and the imam telling stories of living as one, to meeting new friends and learning to help others, mosques are centers for friendship, community, and love. No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone is welcome here. M. O. Yuksel’s text celebrates the joys and traditions found in every mosque around the world. Joyfully illustrated by Hatem Aly, the book also includes a glossary and more information about many historical and significant mosques around the world. Step in and discover all the rituals and wonder of the mosque!
Listen to M.O. Yuksel talking with TeachingBooks about creating In My Mosque. You can click the player below or experience the recording on TeachingBooks, where you can read along as you listen, and also translate the text to another language.
- Listen to author M.O. Yuksel talk about her name.
- Explore TeachingBooks’ collection of activities and resources for In My Mosque.
Invitation to Imagine
TeachingBooks asks each author or illustrator on our Virtual Book Tour to share a writing prompt, a drawing exercise, or just an interesting question to spark curiosity and creativity. Enjoy the following activity contributed by M.O. Yuksel.
Imagination Activity with M.O. Yuksel
Write or illustrate an “In My…” story describing a special place in your community that makes you feel welcomed, such as your school, a place of worship, a community center, or maybe a hobby or sports center. What do you do here? How does it make you feel? Include all the senses: sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell. What do you love most about this place? What are some things people may not know about this special place? How can you explain it to them? What might be some similarities to other places?
Finish This Sentence . . . with M.O. Yuksel
As part of our Virtual Book Tour, TeachingBooks asks authors and illustrators to complete short sentence prompts. Enjoy M.O. Yuksel’s response.
“A fun coincidence between my book and a childhood memory is . . .”
One of my fondest childhood memories is going to the mosque in Istanbul, Turkey with my father. My father would buy bird seed for me to feed the pigeons outside the mosque. I would feed them and then run after the pigeons to try to catch them. Yes, I may have been a bit mischievous.
By coincidence, the illustrator of In My Mosque, Hatem Aly, chose pigeons as the visual thread running through the book. I was so surprised when I saw the illustrations for the first time. When I asked Hatem Aly why he chose pigeons as the visual thread, he said because pigeons are a symbol of peace and harmony. Personally, for me, they are also a beautiful reminder of my fun childhood in Istanbul, Turkey.
“I hope my book encourages kids to think about . . .”
I hope that my book may encourage kids to think about why reading diverse books is important, and I hope it is an invitation to discuss things they may not have known about mosques, Muslims, and other underrepresented groups.
To wrap up this Virtual Book Tour, we thank M.O. Yuksel for signing a book for all of us.
More Connections to M.O. Yuksel and In My Mosque
- Discover books like In My Mosque on TeachingBooks.
- HarperCollins’ page about In My Mosque, written by M.O. Yuksel and illustrated by Hatem Aly.
- Buy In My Mosque, written by M.O. Yuksel and illustrated by Hatem Aly.
- M.O. Yuksel on Twitter.
Explore all of the titles featured in the TeachingBooks Virtual Book Tour: one link with author interviews, lesson plans, activities, and more!
All text and images are courtesy of M.O. Yuksel, Hatem Aly, and HarperCollins Children’s Books and may not be used without expressed written consent.