Yasmine’s Belly Button by Asmaa Hussein illustrated by Charity Russell


Yasmine's Belly Button

This book is fun, fun, fun.  The mere mention of the word belly button to little kids gets them giggling, and the words and pictures in the book kept them engaged and happy through out.

The story is a simple dialogue between 4 year-old Yasmine and her mother about belly buttons as she heads off for her first day of school full of butterflies.  We learn that everyone has a belly button, even cats! And the students have a fun time following along with Yasmine’s confusion of why it is called a button, to her understanding that it allowed her to receive food while in her mother’s tummy.  yasmine2The illustrations are bright and colorful and have a lot going on.  The expressions on the character’s faces compliment and complete the text seamlessly to tell a well thought out story.  They keep the audience’s attention even after the text is read, with the kids telling me to “wait” so that they could soak it all in before I turned each page.  The mom and teacher’s expressions on the last page amused the daycare through Kindergarten students and made them feel like they were in on the silliness.

A lot is conveyed even with just a few words on its 28 pages.  The reader sees what she thinks, they see the mom without hijab at home and with hijab when she goes out, they see a diverse classroom, a patient mom, and a way to deal with being nervous in a new situation.

I read this book to many students at school and to my own children at home, and can tell it will be an often requested book in both settings, mashaAllah, I highly recommend it.



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