My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Note: Review of Advance Reader Copy Provided by Capstone | Book Releases August 1, 2018
Through four different stories, the reader gets to know Yasmin as an explorer, a painter, a builder, and a fashionista. As an explorer, she gets to learn about maps, being aware of her surroundings, and having a plan of action when she gets lost. As a painter, the reader gets to walk through the creative process with Yasmin. From feeling less than confident, staring at a blank canvas, searching for inspiration, and being willing to try. We see some of these same characteristics at play as we join Jasmin as a builder and she learns to think like an architectural engineer to add to the class’ collaborative building project. As a fashionista, Yasmin learns how to turn what once seemed damaged into a newly repurposed piece.
Saadia Faruqi hits a home run with Meet Yasmin! It has all of the features that make this an all-around good read for every classroom, library, and home. The first being the main character Yasmin. Each of her stories is completely relatable. It is the sort of book that every reader can see themselves in. At the same time, it is one that will act as a window as we learn about Pakistani culture. Which brings me to the second feature that I was thrilled to see, bonus content at the end of the book that includes discussion questions (Think About It, Talk About It), a list of Urdu (a language from Pakistan) vocabulary with definitions, facts about Pakistan, a recipe, and a craft to try.
Meet Yasmin is the perfect fit for emergent readers with its short chapters and a complementary mix of text and illustrations. Hatem Aly does such a fantastic job on Yasmin’s facial expressions especially. You can see the determination in her eyes. Experience her shock when her jaw drops in surprise. Share in her excitement in her success, and relate to her creative process as she struggles and perseveres. I also appreciate how his illustrations tell their own story about the close relationships in Yasmin’s family and how much they love and support her. You can see it in their smiles, gestures, and in those warmhearted moments they share together.
You and your young, emergent or newly independent reader will love this book. I can’t wait for it to hit the bookstores so that I can add a copy to my K-5 library.
You will also want to be sure to check out Saadia’s podcast that she co-hosts with author Ann Braden (The Benefits of Being an Octopus, September 2018) called Lifelines: Books that Bridge the Divide. There is a piece written here on the MG Book Village’s site. You can also listen to the podcast here and find episode and show notes.
Saadia Faruqi | http://www.saadiafaruqi.com/
Hatem Aly | https://www.metahatem.com/
Picture Window Books
An imprint of Capstone
Lifelines: Books That Bridge the Divide | http://annbradenbooks.com/podcast/
Book Excursion | PLN Group of Rockstar Reading Educators| #BookExcursion