Amin Aaser didn't need to look farther than his own Minnesota childhood to inspire his series of children's books. It's set in a town called Maple Grove — which is where he grew up — and follows the story of four cartoon animals — including one who bears his name.

Amin, the fictional character, is a charismatic panda bear. Amin Aaser, the author, is 27, bearded and wide-eyed. His older brother Mohammed Aaser, 30, is a little burlier and wears glasses.

Their series is called "Noor Kids." Noor means "the light," the brothers explain, as if to illuminate the way for young Muslims.

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