Faruqi, Saadia. Meet Yasmin! Hatem Aly, Illus. Easy Reader. Picture Window, 2019. 89 [+6]pp. PB $5.99. 978-1-68436-022-2. OUTSTANDING GRADES K-3.
Yasmin Ahmad is an inquisitive second grader who embraces life’s adventures and figures out how to make the best out of any situation. A bilingual Urdu and English-speaking Pakistani American, Yasmin lives with her parents and grandparents in an urban environment. This delightful debut reader consists of four distinct chapters written in short, engaging sentences. Urdu, English, and Arabic words are integrated within the text; context, easily conveys their meaning. Colorful, digitally rendered illustrations depict a diverse cast of friends who have various brown, tan, peach, and olive tones. Nana, her grandfather, is shown using a wheelchair. Back matter includes discussion prompts, definitions of Urdu and Arabic words, facts about Pakistan, Pakistani recipes, and craft ideas. Curiously, although Yasmin’s mother wears the hijab, the head covering worn by some Muslim women, the religion is not mentioned within the text or within the back matter. A strong start for an authentic series that will appeal to children of all backgrounds.
Mahasin Aleem, Oakland Public Library