Book Title: Pilar’s Worries Author: Victoria M. Sanchez Illustrator: Jess Golden Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. Age Range: 4 to 8 years
Pilar worries about everything. Whether it’s being called on in class or messing up in PE, just about anything can cause her to panic. Especially the thought of having to perform in front of people.
Luckily, she has the help of her friend Sebastian who reminds her to “breathe.”
The one thing that eases all her worries is ballet class. The warmth of the barre and her toes pressing down on the studio floor can make all her troubles melt away. But when Pilar realizes that auditions for her favorite ballet are happening the next day, she has to decide if she’s going to let her worries keep her from doing the thing she loves the most, dancing.
This is a wonderfully gentle and inspiring book for anxious children and their parents looking for ways to talk about and to cope with anxiety. Sanchez’s Author’s Note shares her personal journey with her daughter, whom Pilar is based on. She also provides helpful resources for more information on the subject.
Book Title: Meet Yasmin! Author: Saadia Faruqi Illustrator: Hatem Aly Publisher: Picture Window Books Age Range: 5 to 8 years
If there were ever a main character that I was thrilled to meet, Yasmin is that character. And I'm equally elated to review Meet Yasmin! – a charming set of stories surrounding the adventures of this effervescent second-grader.
In Yasmin the Explorer, her Baba teaches her about maps and how every good explorer needs one. Excited by the prospect of becoming an explorer herself, Yasmin creates her own map as she and Mama head to the farmer’s market. But when they get separated, Yasmin must put her map to the test to find her.
In Yasmin the Painter, Yasmin finds herself worrying about the upcoming art contest at school – especially because she doesn’t believe she’s very good at it. Even with the help of Baba and online painting videos, Yasmin has a hard time finding her confidence. But she must figure out a plan before the big competition.
In the final story, Yasmin the Fashionista, she and Nana have a lot of fun playing dress up in Mama’s clothes while Mama and Baba are out. That is until they accidentally wreck her favorite kameez. Now Yasmin must use her creativity to figure out how fix it before her parents get home.
Not only is this book brimming with girl power, Faruqi provides fantastic backmatter to teach young children about Pakistani culture; which includes facts and a recipe for Mango Lassi. The book also presents readers with discussion questions about the challenges Yasmin faces and what they would do if faced with the same obstacles.
Aly’s vibrant illustrations perfectly match Yasmin’s bright and electric spirit. I highly recommend meeting Yasmin with your beginner readers. You’ll be glad you did.
Meet Yasmin! is perfect for: The future explorer The future creator The future fashionista