Meet Yasmin Before Breakfast

h1 October 23rd, 2018 by jules


If you haven’t met Yasmin yet, by chance, I’m pleased to introduce her to you today. She is the star of Saadia Faruqi’s debut chapter book for beginning readers, illustrated by Hatem Aly (who visited 7-Imp back here in 2016). Meet Yasmin! (Picture Window Books, August 2018) includes four stories in which this curious, problem-solving second-grader puts her imagination to work — Yasmin the Explorer; Yasmin the Painter; Yasmin the Builder; and Yasmin the Fashionista. As you can tell from the cover sketch above, Yasmin has personality to spare.

Yasmin and her family, who speak both English and Urdu, are Pakistani American, and Faruqi incorporates elements of Pakistani customs into the text; the book even closes with a few Urdu words, as well as facts about Pakistan. Yasmin’s adventures and dilemmas, however, are universal elementary-aged ones, as she overcomes artist’s block for an art competition, finds her own creative conclusion to a frustrating building project in school, and more. With each adventure, she gains more confidence and discovers new things about herself and her world, as inquisitive second-graders are wont to do. Faruqi captures Yasmin’s ups-and-downs with precise, economic language, and Aly’s vivid illustrations capture Yasmin’s world.

Hatem visits today to share some early sketches and final art. I thank him for sharing.


Early Character Sketches/Variations:




Interior Sketches:





(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)





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(Click to enlarge)



Cover Sketches/Variations:















Some Final Art
(though some of the details vary):


“Soon Mama came in. ‘Yasmin, I’m going to the farmer’s market.
Want to come with me?'”


“‘Don’t forget your map!’ Baba said.
‘Every explorer needs a map.'”


(Click to enlarge spread)


“Emma was slower. Her church was very tall and had a pointy steeple.
‘Now I need to make some people,’ Emma said.”


“Yasmin sat in the corner, watching the others. She chewed her lip.
This was harder than she’d thought.”


“Yasmin crept into the huge closet. Brightly colored clothes hung from the rack.
Satin kameez, silky hijabs, and beaded saris.”

(Click to enlarge and see spread in its entirety)


“Yasmin took off the kameez. Nani looked at the tear.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll tell your mama about it.
All will be fine,’ she said. ‘I can fix it with my sewing machine.'”





Pictured above: The four library edition covers
(the library editions and the trade paperback published simultaneously)


Trade paperback cover
(includes all four stories)


* * * * * * *

MEET YASMIN! Text © 2019 Saadia Faruqi. Illustrations © 2019 Picture Windows Books. Published by Picture Window Books, a Capstone Imprint, North Mankato, Minnesota. All images here reproduced by permission of Hatem Aly and the publisher.

One comment to “Meet Yasmin Before Breakfast”

  1. Oooh! I didn’t realize that there’d be more than the first book! I love her huge eyes!

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