Hello, everyone! It’s a special two-for-one review day! Today, we read the first two books in the Yousuf’s Everyday Adventures series, Dreamland With Mommy and Beautifully Different, both written by Dana Salim and illustrated by Pavel Goldaev.
In Dreamland With Mommy, we are introduced to Yousuf, a young boy getting ready for bed. As a fun bedtime game, his mommy invites him to play the “imagination time-travel game,” a sort of guided meditation to help Yousuf prepare for sleep. In his Dreamland, he can swim in strawberry pie, ride a magic carpet, and even face down a fearsome pirate by solving a riddle. By the time his adventures have ended, he is relaxed and ready for sleep. In Beautifully Different, Yousuf returns to his dreamland to help defend it against malevolent weeds, finding that our differences are what make us beautiful and strong.
These are two pretty neat independent books, each with their own positives. Dreamland With Mommy is more fun, exploring the joy of using your imagination (bonus: I got to use my pirate voice while reading it, which is always a plus). Beautifully Different has more of a message: our differences should unite us, not divide us, which is always an important theme. The art is somewhat basic, but bright and colorful enough to engage baby bookworms like JJ, who enjoyed the illustrations. The length of each book was fine, and while the rhythm of the text (which switches back and forth from rhyming to not) can be a little stilted at times, the stories are fun. Overall, we enjoyed joining Yousuf on his adventures. Baby Bookworm approved!