*Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan, illustrated by Mercè López

A lively rhyming story about a generously overcrowded daladala on its way to the beach in a delightful read-aloud about siblings in Zanzibar.

Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan, illustrated by Mercè López. Simon and Schuster, 2021. 32 pages.

Reading Level: Picture books, Ages 4-8

Recommended For: Ages 4-8

If you don’t have travel plans to Zanzibar yet, Room for Everyone will give you a lively taste of the experience. Musa and his sister (“dada” in Swahili) board a daladala (shared minibus with benches used for public transportation) to go to the beach. Along the way, the driver keeps stopping to offer rides to more and more people laden with animals, produce, and gear. Every time Musa protests that “There’s no room!” Somehow they all manage to crowd in (no seat belts, mind you).

The rhyming text isn’t always smooth, but neither are the dirt roads, and it works. It’s a fun counting book to read aloud, even for kids who think they’re too old for such things. Pull out a map, find Zanzibar, and ask if they’re ready for adventure.

Overall Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Worldview/Moral Rating: 4 out of 5 Literary/Artistic Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Related Reading From Redeemed Reader:

A Review: Picture books about Transportation For those without personal access to a daladala.A Review: Count on the Subway Another crowded form of transportation, but probably without goats.A Review: Aren’t you curious to know what kind of things God Counts in the Bible?

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