Review: Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi
By Saadia Faruqi
Illustrated by Hatem Aly
Ah those well-crafted transitional books can be hard to pin down. Elusive, aren’t they? When you spot a good one, you hold onto it. You tell people about it. Meet Yasmin! is one such book. Well-suited for those who are ready for something a bit longer than an early reader, Yasmin is a character that readers will want to want to root for.
Over the course of four stories, we are introduced to the titular main character. Yasmin explores, paints, builds, and is handy with the glue gun if a sartorial crisis may arise. Never satisfied with being a wallflower, Yasmin leaps into action, using her creativity to solve kid-centric problems like what to build for a class project and how to find mama when lost in the park.
The full-color illustrations, courtesy of Hatem Aly (who most famously illustrated the Newbery Honor winner The Inquisitor’s Tale), bring Yasmin’s Pakistani American family to life with vibrance and personality. The illustrations often play a significant role in the storytelling, jumping in at key times, such as when we see Yasmin’s hand-made map, or setting the scene for the school art show.
Backmatter includes discussion questions, a glossary of Urdu words used in the book, Pakistan facts, and a recipe for Mango Lassi.
A great book to hand to fans of The Princess in Black and Mercy Watson, many readers will likely see themselves in Yasmin’s curious, can-do spirit.
Review copy purchased.
Watch the book trailer for Meet Yasmin!:
Filed under: Reviews
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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