There is a lot of buzz surrounding the new early chapter book written by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Hatem Aly. And Meet Yasmin! lives up to the hype. It’s first and foremost entertaining. It’s also educational and inspiring.
Picture Window Books, 2018. Paperback, 96 pages. ages 5-9.
parents & educators: check out CapstoneKids’ Meet Yasmin! page.
Inquisitive and imaginative, Yasmin takes on different roles in the four stories collected in Meet Yasmin! She’s an Explorer, Builder, Painter, and Fashionista. Common throughout is the presence of a nurturing adult: parents, grandparents, and teacher. She’s given the resources she needs, including the space and confidence to think things through and try.
The book has colorful illustrations and good margins, font size, and word spacing. The illustrations are perfect accompaniments: appealing, warm and energetic. I was so pleased to see that poster of Malala on Yasmin’s wall. The cast, whether in the school or community, is diverse, to say nothing of the delightfulness in having a Pakistani American family front and center.
At the back of the book is a page of “Pakistan Facts;” a page featuring a recipe “Mango lassi,” and a page to “Learn Urdu with Yasmin!” If you are reading aloud and are unfamiliar with the pronunciations, you may want to start with that page. Or you can demonstrate how looking up words works cause we are all of us learning. There are also pages with an art project and questions/discussion topic for each story.
Have some time and your craft supplies on hand before introducing your new/young reader to Yasmin, she’s fun and inspiring.
Recommended all earlier readers (ages 5-9); for the earlier end of chapter books due to the picture book feel of this one (think Mercy Watson/Princess in Black) and the lengths of story–and you’ll have it around for a good span. A good read-aloud.