I started to read this book to myself, abruptly stopped, gathered my children around, and began again aloud. This 40 page early elementary picture book isn’t just counting up and down with silly scenarios and outrageous details, it is familiarity with a culture often not represented with universal humor, appeal, and anticipation. This rhyming book begs to be shared: one-on-one, at story time, or in a classroom. There is so much joy and connection that I’m ready to felt-board the story, march into my kid’s school and demand an audience. I found mine at the library, but I think I am going to order it because it definitely deserves a place on the bookshelf to be read again and again.
Musa and Dada get in a daladala and are off to the crystal blue waters of Zanzibar. But it is hotter than peppers out and the kind driver is offering everyone a ride. First is the old man with his seatless bike, then it is two little goats and their herder, next is vendors with their three baskets of fruits. Each time Musa cries and protests that there is not room for anyone else, let alone their stuff. Yet when everyone wiggles and scoots and smooshes, there seems to be room for everyone. This continues until there are ten scuba divers joining the smelly fish and stinky chickens, umbrellas and milk pails.
Alhumdulillah, they reach the beach. Then one by one they all get out at Nungwi beach. Giggles and wiggles and Musa and Dada are off the minibus and swimming in the cool waters. Alhumdulillah indeed. The book concludes with a glossary and an author’s note.