NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON Interview with Author Zainab Khan

NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON by Zainab Khan and Nabila Adani is the warm and gentle story of a little girl who marks the end of Ramadan by searching for the new moon signifying Eid ul-Fitr festivities will begin. This moon sighting will be especially meaningful to Noura as this year is her first time fasting. While Noura’s parents warn her that moon sightings are rare, the family prepares a picnic to enjoy the search anyway. This is a lovingly-crafted mirror of a young Muslim girl’s anticipation of a special celebration. And readers unfamiliar with Ramadan customs and terms will discern a lot from the expert way author Zainab Khan reveals concepts and vocabulary through context. The helpful back matter, heftier than a typical glossary, provides additional thoughtful explanations. Nabila Adani’s dreamy illustrations depict a loving family and meaningful traditions against the backdrop of a beautifully changing sky. I can’t wait to get a copy for my school library.

Today, author Zainab Khan is here to give us a peek behind the scenes of Noura’s Crescent Moon.

Welcome Zainab! You have done lots of wonderful outreach and promotion for NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON. What advice do you have for writers who aren’t sure how to approach the promotion of their books? If you had to do it over, what would you do the same and what would you change?

Thank you for hosting me today, Sara! 

There has been some trial and error in my process. I was lucky to have Chris Tebbetts share his marketing plan at a retreat. Using that as a guide, I thought of how I could reach my target audience while spending the least amount of money. Authors make very little so I needed to be economical.

I tried two things. One was to print promo cards with information on my book launch. The other was to advertise using free social media.  I made an invitation link that could be posted on the promo cards as a qr code or be emailed/copied/pasted to different social media sites. This way I could keep track of who was coming and be able to text blast reminders to my book launch on April 27, 2024. 

There was no need for me to print promo cards. The social media campaign was a hit. Knowing how to present my book and targeting the audiences that would be most likely to buy it was key. 

I was authentic about why I wrote NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON. People understood my vision and my platform. This book would not only help those in need from my proceeds but also offer representation to Muslim children and show children of other faiths how we celebrate in the same way. Every kid could relate with Noura and her excitement for Eid ul-Fitr! 

Currently, over 300 people are coming to my book launch God Willing. I only know a handful of them but I’ve made the effort to connect with each person through the invitation in some form.  I am humbled by the support my book has received.

Do I expect everyone to show up? Of course not! But, I know there will be quite a few people at the B&N at Carle Place at 11 AM waiting to hear me read my book. 

It sounds like your launch is shaping up to be a success! Your book was originally scheduled for publication on March 5th, just prior to the start of Ramadan. Due to shipping delays, we finally got to celebrate your debut this week. What advice do you have for authors who face a similar schedule change?

Life is full of curveballs. If NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON had come on its original release date, it would have been a great time to get the book into the hands of Muslim kids celebrating the month and then Eid ul-Fitr. 

Instead, my book will be released on April 16th. So, my plans have changed. That’s okay. I am versatile. 

This lost time has been used to brainstorm with friends on how to get the book into my readers’ hands. 

My publicist at Candlewick Press and the marketing team is amazing! This isn’t their first rodeo. They have their magical secrets but are always open to my suggestions. Know that they are paddling in the same boat as you!  

You are donating a portion of the book’s proceeds to charity. How did this come to fruition?

It’s taken a long eleven years for my debut picture book, NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON to be released. I might have given up if not for the encouragement of the people around me- family, friends, authors, agent friends, editors. And of course I kept my faith in God to help me. 

It’s important to give back to others. I believe in raising people and communities up. This is why I selected to get a portion of my advance and royalties for my two books, NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON and HANA’S HAJJ (Candlewick Press, 2026) was founded by Dian Alyan. When Dian lost over forty of her family members in the 2006 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, she turned her pain into light. She opened beautiful homes for orphans all around the world including here in the U.S. To this day, these children are taken care of and given an education. Some of them are even going to university now. also provides for single mothers and their children. There are now over 1000 orphans under this philanthropic organization’s care.

Dian fulfills dreams. She gives light. I want to spread light too, God Willing.

Thank you for being with us today, Zainab, and thank you for spreading light to children with your books!

Sara Holly Ackerman

Sara Holly Ackerman is the author of several picture books including THE GABI THAT GIRMA WORE, co-authored with Fasika Adefris and illustrated by Netsanet Tesfay, NOT JUST THE DRIVER! illustrated by Robert Neubecker, and CHALLAH FOR SHABBAT TONIGHT illustrated by Alona Millgram. She is a school librarian who lives in Brooklyn, NY right down the street from the library and she never leaves home without her library card. Visit Sara at and on Instagram at @sarahollyackerman.


  1. I can’t imagine the stress of a perfect-timing launch being postponed! It sounds like Zainab handled it with ease and grace, and this mindset will help immensely in future! Congratulations, Zainab – really looking forward to ALL your books!

  2. Giving to charity! What a wonderful idea!

  3. Congratulations, Zainab!!

  4. This looks wonderful! Congrats! I can’t wait to read it. 🙂

  5. Beautiful story and stunning illustrations…Congratulations Zainab! And Nabila!

  6. What a lovely book. Congratulations!

  7. You book will bless so many, Inshallah.

  8. Thanks for giving back, Sara. Congratulations on your lovely book. What a cover!

  9. I am so excited for you, Zainab! NOURA’S CRESCENT MOON is beautiful, and I’m delighted that we share a publisher. Your giving spirit is an inspiration. Enjoy your book launch!

  10. So many cultures we can learn about as we live side by side! This is a great read aloud. (My highest endorsement as a librarian!)

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