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Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian and illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

My name is Omar—this is my face. I have a HUGE imagination. I hate carrots. I once raced against my dad’s car on my bike—and won!

Finding wonderful new chapter books for read aloud has been my quest this school year. I was so pleased to discover Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by #ownvoices author Zanib Mian and illustrator Nasaya Mafaridik. Brilliantly combining text, pictures, and a variety of lettering, this book is a visual delight from the first page to the end. My students laughed out loud at Omar’s shenanigans, his goofy family, and his imaginary dragon, H20.

When Omar and his family move to a new town, Omar is filled with worries and questions. What if his new teacher is a zombie alien? Why is the neighbor lady so unfriendly? Why does the school bully say he will be kicked out of the country?

But school isn’t so bad after he meets a new friend, Charlie. The grouchy neighbor lady turns out to be okay as well once she gets to know Omar’s family.

Author Mian has created a loveable and relatable protagonist in Omar. For some of my students, like a few characters in the story, it was their first glimpse into the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The best news is that there are two more books in the series: Planet Omar Unexpected Super Spy, and Planet Omar Incredible Rescue Mission. I’m certain that when my class returns to in-person instruction in April, the Planet Omar series is going to be a top choice from our library.

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