Kids love to stretch their imagination and do the impossible, but for Yaseen Muhammad, his dreams at night are his favorite activity to see just how far his abilities can go. In this 21 page paperback 8.5 x 8.5 square book, Yaseen Muhammad will imagine his best day ever as the President of the United States and share with kids 1st through 3rd grade exactly what he will make happen, inshaAllah, when he wakes up.
In a very busy day as the first kid president, Yaseen Muhammad dreams of starting the day leading morning prayer in the Oval Office, and then getting his family to help him prepare a special lunch for everyone in every state. He’ll visit schools all over America and play celebrity basketball with his cousin and vice President Jameelah. He’s Jedda will teach people to start their own gardens, and he’ll give a speech on TV, after all why not, “Nothing is Impossible.”
The pictures are lively and descriptive that the reader and listeners will enjoy looking at them. The characters are visibly Muslim as the women wear hijab, and in the text it mentions the characters praying, and Yaseen Muhammad dreaming he is the imam. There is a lot of text on the pages, but the story flows and the information serves a purpose in establishing who Yaseen Muhammad is and connecting him and his dream to the readers. The text is uniformly on the right with the pictures on the left making the book very convenient if sharing during story time and you are like me and hold the book in your left hand when reading to a group.
The only thing that struck me as off, was in the illustration of Jameelah and Yaseen playing basketball. Yaseen’s t-shirt has a Y on it and Jameelas an F. Not a J for Jameelah or a Y signaling they are on the same team. It is minor, but all my kids noticed it too and wondered why.
A couple of places I stumbled over some of the grammar and wording, but after reading it aloud a hundred times (exaggeration, slightly) to figure out why, I don’t think anything is wrong, it is just a bit awkward, but it is probably me. For example when Yaseen is speaking to the whole world on TV he says “Every kid can make a difference in your community, in your state, in your country, and even in the world. Dream Big.” Seems like it should be, Every kid can make a difference in “their” community, in “their” state, no?
Overall, a good empowering story for all children and one that highlights African American Muslims in text and illustrations. A great book to have in rotation to encourage kids to dream, make the world better, and believe in themselves. Alhumdulillah.