Na’ima B Robert to Publish YA novel with Kube

As some of you will know we are publishing Naima Robert’s next novel, which is titled SHE WORE RED TRAINERS.

It is a book about two young adults falling in love and their struggles to contain their feelings in order to uphold their faith. It is also a book that makes it clear that romance and religion are perfectly compatible.

We will have a sample chapter available soon.If you want to see it like please add a comment to this post.

In the meantime, take a look at the book cover and let us know your first impressions.

She Wore Red Trainers

“Snow White: An Islamic Tale” Review and Giveaway!

Check out this review of Snow White: An Islamic Tale.

wood turtle

photo 2 (28)Terrified screams rip through a dark forest. Ghostly eyes leer and skeletal branches attack an innocent girl as she runs from a close encounter with death — and she soon falls to the ground sobbing. Later, when several strange “little men” offer her refuge in exchange for cooking and cleaning services, a twisted old woman tricks her into eating poison and she enters a death-like state. In revenge, the men chase the old woman off a cliff and hold a wake for the poor girl. While they mourn her, a charming, handsome, prince wakes her with a kiss and she happily falls into his arms.

It’s not the Snow White I remember from my childhood, so I was pretty shocked when watching it again in preparation for this post. But then again, the only things I really remember from Disney’s 1937 movie version were the seven dwarves happily singing “Heigh-ho,” Dopey’s…

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Written by Rae Norridge
Originally posed on

Every year brings new challenges to us all, and every year we are that bit older. I ask myself, ‘Am I that bit wiser?’

I am in the fortunate position to travel and experience this beautiful world we live in. As an artist, my eyes are constantly seeking new colours, textures and subjects to paint. As an author, my mind searches for new tales to tell, drawing inspiration from the rich diversity nature has to offer. Sitting at a waterhole, with only the sound of the grass rustling in the wind and the constant chatter of the birds is an enriching experience for me. It gives me time to reflect on life.

Very often, in this busy world, we forget the simple rules and principles that make our lives, and the lives of our friends and families, more tolerant and peaceful.

I have written the Hilmy the Hippo series for young children, but I fervently hope that some adults can learn from Hilmy’s adventures too. For those who have not read the series, Hilmy is the central character in each book, and in each adventure that Hilmy undertakes, we learn a lesson in life. Although these stories are simply told, the message is deeply meaningful. I believe we all have a little bit of Hilmy in us. He reminds us of our own human frailties.

We live in a ‘quick fix’ world, the world of the remote control, the egotistical world of ‘this is me’ social network sites, the deceitful world of photo-shopping, the tragic world or cyber-bullying, and so the list goes on. We all need time to reflect on nature, to learn how to take time out from the pressures of the cyber world. Nature, in it’s simplicity, can give us the answers to the complexities of life.

A rhino is killed every nine-and-a-half hours in Africa. Elephants are poached for the greedy desire for ivory. Habitats are destroyed for logging, housing and industry. Should we continue this destruction of our beautiful planet?

We need, as parents and as adults, to take time to reflect on nature and to teach our children the importance of conserving the diminishing world of our natural environment.

In the Hilmy the Hippo series, I have tried to bring to life the characters and the habitat in which they live. I hope that these stories sew the seeds of caring for our environment, protecting and not exploiting endangered creatures like Hilmy and his friends.

Our children are growing up in a challenging world. We, as parents, need to guide them along the path to being caring and happy adults, and to share this beautiful planet with all Allah’s creatures.

The Great Race to Sycamore Street – Free reference sheet


The Great Race to Sycamore Street is a fun adventure story featuring two Muslim children. It is for children aged between 9 and 14, and will not only entertain them but give them some wonderful insights into the character of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and their faith.

In the story a prominent character is Grandma Hana’s peach tree. This famous and cherished tree is not only used to find fruit to fill one of Grandma Hana’s famous pies, it also offers the children Hude and Amani an example for themselves. In order to get the best fruit the tree must have firm roots, a strong trunk, several branches and an abundance of leaves. And, similarly in order for people to have good character they must have firm belief at their root, a strong faith in the oneness of Allah, and the Prophethood of Muhammad, perform several acts that testify to their faith and belief such as prayer, fasting and giving charity, and follow the abundant actions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), our guide. If people have those features their fruits will be good character, such as such patience, honesty, kindness and generosity. Even when faced with nasty neighbours!

The Great Race to Sycamore Street also sees Hude and Amani challenged by their Grandma Hana to follow the example of the Prophet (pbuh), his Sunnah. She encourages them to be kind to their neighbour’s dog after it eats their cookies, to be quick to calm and slow to anger when faced with bullying, practice archery and be good to neighbours, even if they aren’t nice to you.  By the end of the story Hude and Amani are challenging each other to act in these exemplary ways.

Specific verses in the Qur’an and ahadith (plural of hadith) are mentioned in The Great Race to Sycamore Street because Muslim parents and guardians often refer to these two sources when instructing children on how to behave and what constitutes good character. Hence, we are providing the references below to share with readers in case they wish to find the original sources that inspired the author themselves.


To download the free Qur’an and Hadith references please click the link below.

The Great Race to Sycamore Street – hadith and quran references


New Kube Publishing Site

It is with great delight that we have a new website for our readers to discover our books. Most of the children’s books include some additional images of the internal pages, so if there have been books you were interested in seeing you can now take a look at them.

We welcome any feedback, especially as we continue to fix any errors.

Kuthum Burgess (1964–2013): Obituary

Kube Publishing is sad to announce the death of Sister Kulthum Burgess, a talented artist who worked as one of our freelance illustrators.

Kulthum was born Giovanna De Bianchi in Rome in 1964 and embraced Islam in 1987, along with her husband Ahmed Ridwan Burgess. Together they have been living in the UK for the past 20 years.

Kulthum Burgess was a gifted artist. Her career as an artist included work on school murals, producing decorative Islamic tiling and the illustration of children’s books. The first work she undertook for Kube was A School Girl’s Hero by Umm Aamina. This was a challenging project as the book was about the character of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She also later worked on other titles for Kube: Hannah and her Grandma, The Colour Blind Boy, Our Grandma, Our Granddad, The Lost Ring, and Husna and the Eid Party.

A signature feature of Sister Kulthum’s work was her ability to create recognisable individuals in an accurate and realistic manner, which helped to transform the stories that she illustrated. To do this she used real life models and asked them to pose for photographs, scene by scene, before she would begin her illustrative work. She was committed to depicting people from diverse backgrounds in her artwork. Her work as an illustrator came to be appreciated by a global readership.

Sister Kulthum was sadly diagnosed with cancer some time ago and as a result could not take on any more work illustrating children’s books. We pray Allah grants her the highest rank in Paradise, al-Firdous. Sister Kulthum leaves behind her husband, Ahmed Rizwan, her four sons, Mansoor , Mahmood, Omar and Adam, and her six grandchildren; may Allah grant them all patience and fortitude.

(Written by Anwar Cara on behalf of Kube Publishing)

 Our Grandad Hannah and her GrandmaOur Grandma The Colour Blind Boy School Girl's Hero Husna and the Eid Party

Book Review: Snow White An Islamic Tale

By Kirkus Reviews (paywall)


In this version, the heroine is pious as well as pretty.

Here the setting is Anatolia (in Turkey), which looks similar to a European landscape. Snow White is not a princess, but she still has a jealous stepmother who sends a huntsman to kill her. Seven female dwarfs, all kind and religious, find the girl on their doorstep after the huntsman refuses to do the evil deed. It may sound more or less like the usual story, but the poisoned apple becomes poisoned dates, the fruit that traditionally breaks the Ramadan fast. The poisoned fruit is not dislodged from the girl’s throat when servants stumble, carrying her glass coffin to the prince’s palace (as in Grimm). Nor does the prince kiss Snow White (as in Disney). Here, the prince’s mother and a doctor awaken her with medicine and prayer. The gruesome Grimm ending changes, as it does in many children’s versions, though with a twist: Snow White grants mercy to her evil stepmother and recites a verse from the Quran. Such verses are quoted throughout the text, with references provided. The full-color watercolors, with some Anatolian details in clothing and household goods, are attractive, but the faces are sometimes awkward. Snow White (not quite beautiful) and the stepmother don’t always look the same on different pages.

Created for religious Muslim children, this may be of interest to institutions or families seeking such materials. (glossary) (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-9)

Review of When Wings Expand

Book Review: When Wings Expand


by Atiya Hasan. Taken from

It’s funny how our brains can make something so simple
seem so big and scary.

As I ran my hand over the cover of When Wings Expand, before I was about to lose myself in the story between the pages, I mentally prepared myself to find the all the probably mistakes. I’m sure they’ll misrepresent Islam, I said to myself, like they always do. Or, I bet there’s tons of cultural influences that have nothing to do with Islam.

Not only was I pleasantly surprised, but surprisingly enough, the book had me weeping as I read its final pages. The book is about Nur, a young, Muslim girl dealing with the terminal illness of her mother. The book is a diary that is a gift from her mother to help her cope with the difficult circumstances. I’m neither Turkish nor Canadian and I’ve never had to deal with any close relatives being gravely ill. Yet, there were many things I learned about myself as I read this book; strength in the face of hopelessness, the importance of a family’s love and support, and probably the most important, faith.

As pure as Nur’s character, so is the representation of Islam in the book. Mehded Maryam Sinclair, the author, is very well versed in the distinction between cultural practices and those that are the property of Islamic teachings. The representation is basic enough that it is a warm welcome for those that may not be as knowledgeable about the topic.

Though this book was meant for a younger age group, I thoroughly enjoyed each moment spent in its world. The story of Nur’s loss is one that is deeply entrenched in faith. It is a guiding light for those that lose their faith when faced with adversities. Sinclair is adept at making the sorrow real but not painful. She leads the readers down a path of beautiful moments on a journey to acceptance and, ultimately, peace.