Room for Everyone

Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy. Nov. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534431393.
PreS-Gr 1–A picture book debut set in Zanzibar, this one-to-10 counting book is about the joy of welcoming strangers into your life. This rhyming story opens on a Friday when there is a feast happening at the bazaar. Musa and Dada are headed there in a daladala. Initial hesitation about inviting anyone else on board turns into wiggles and giggles as they move over and make room for farmers, mamas, herders, and vendors. Hilarity ensues as every space in the bus is used for their belongings, which range from chickens to scuba diving gear. Rhyming text (that includes Swahili words and Arabic phrases), repetitious phrases, and gorgeous illustrations that reflect the culture of the city will make this not only a beautiful read-aloud but a memorable one.
VERDICT An incredibly strong purchase; children are almost guaranteed to repeat parts of this story, and join in on the counting that happens throughout.

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