Insha'Allah, No, Maybe So (Hardcover)

Insha'Allah, No, Maybe So By Rhonda Roumani, Nadia Roumani, Olivia Aserr (Illustrator) Cover Image
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A sweet and playful picture book about a common Arabic word for life's uncertainties that will ring true for all families.

Ranya wants to go to the park. “Insha’Allah,” her mom tells her. 

But doesn't that just mean no? Ranya's mom says “Insha’Allah” when Ranya asks to make cookies. She says it when Ranya wants to sleep over at Jayda's house. She says it when Ranya begs to go to Disneyland.

This might sound familiar to parents and caregivers . . . It’s hard to know what to say when you can’t promise anything! Sometimes grown-ups say “Maybe” or “We’ll see.” And in millions of Arab and Muslim homes around the world, families use the phrase “Insha’Allah” when talking about the future. 

So, what does “Insha’Allah” really mean? In this warmly illustrated picture book, Ranya and her mom tackle the meaning of the powerful phrase and ponder the best way to talk about their hopes and dreams—and maybe, sometimes, the things they want to put off. (Like cleaning up toys!)

Cozy art and joyful, loving characters make this a perfect family read aloud.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

About the Author

Rhonda Roumani is a Syrian-American journalist who has written about Islam, the Arab world and Muslim-American issues for more than two decades. She is the author of the middle grade novel Tagging Freedom and picture book Umm Kulthum: Star of the East. Visit her at

Nadia Roumani is a social entrepreneur, coach, consultant, and co-founder of the University of Southern California's American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute and Stanford University's Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative. She is also a Senior Designer with Stanford University's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design.

Olivia Aserr is the half Egyptian, half Irish American illustrator of A Mermaid Girl by Sana Rafi and Mama in Congress: Rashida Tlaib’s Journey to Washington by Rashida Tlaib and Miranda Paul. She works as a background painter at Disney Television Animation, and enjoys swing dance and costume making in her free time. Olivia lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Bonnibel. Visit her at

Praise For…

★ "Aserr's watercolor and digital illustrations complement and support the text, capturing the diverse neighborhood and moments of mother/daughter closeness. A funny, thoughtful introduction to a common, powerful Arabic word."Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

"[A] warm, playful introduction to a term used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking people globally."—Publishers Weekly

"A sweet introduction to an expression often used in Muslim and Arabic-speaking communities. . . Lively, funny, and child-friendly."—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780823454419
ISBN-10: 082345441X
Publisher: Holiday House
Publication Date: May 14th, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English