Rummanah Aasi
Description: Meet Yasmin! Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who's always on the lookout for those "aha" moments to help her solve life's little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn't get too big, of course! A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.

Review: Meet Yasmin is a much needed diverse book in children's chapter books in which a fun, curious, spunky, and creative Pakistani-American girl solve problems and have adventures. This book is compiled of four separate sections give Yasmin lots of adventures and opportunities to explore her character. “Yasmin the Explorer”, Yasmin makes a map of her neighborhood and uses it when she goes to the farmers market with her mother. “Yasmin the Painter” doesn’t know what to create for the art contest at school, but when she tinkers with a paint set gifted to her by her Baba (her father), she gets an idea that proves successful. “Yasmin the Builder” is once again stumped over a class project, but after a few false starts and moments of frustration, she comes up with a brilliant contribution. Finally, “Yasmin the Fashionista” is bored at home with her grandparents while her parents eat out together. She complains of having nothing to do, but when she stumbles into her mother’s closet, the hijabs and saris and a new kameez give her lots of ideas.
  Each of these adventures has two to three chapters. Each spread has full- or half-page art in attractive, bold colors that bring the characters to life. Yasmin's personality shines through as she gets herself in and out of trouble. Though her dilemmas seem small, they are significant when seen through the eyes of a child. I also loved how the Pakistani culture is seamlessly woven into the story from the clothes that Yasmin's parents and grandparents where, terms of endearment that are used, and the tiny details that caught my eye such as the Dawn newspaper, Pakistan's prominent newspaper. The book does include backmatter such as discussion questions intended for child readers to think and talk about from the stories, an index of Urdu words presented as a fun way to learn the language, facts about Pakistan, a recipe, and a craft. I am so glad Yasmin is out for readers to discover and for young Pakistani readers to see themselves.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None.

If you like this book try: Yasmin the Teacher and Yasmin in Charge by Saadia Faruqi
1 Response
  1. Love that this book exists for early readers! I meant to tell you that my daughter is learning Arabic and is majoring in International Studies and Africana Studies; she hopes to spend her junior year in Jordan. It's been great seeing her learn the other parts of her heritage!

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