This newly released adventure story features Musa and his sister as they ride via daladala to the Tanzanian shore. The minibus quickly becomes excessively crowded as the bus driver welcomes more and more passengers onto the bus to escape the heat of the day.
The book’s word choice itself is a fun-filled adventure for readers! The text is crafted in lyrical form and makes for a playful medley of rhyme and alliteration. There are just enough unfamiliar words to explore by accessing a user-friendly glossary or simply by studying the inviting illustrations. Adding to the energy of the text and pictures is the fact that Room for Everyone is a counting book with a predictable pattern and a repeating line:
It’s hotter than peppers out there in the sun! Come in, there’s room for everyone!
The theme of inclusion and compassion are evident with each turn of the page. The unloading of the passengers and their belongings as they arrive at Nungwi Beach offers a calm ending. The openness and the beauty of the land is satisfying to all!
When I shared this selection with a class of third graders, all of whom are military children, I was humbled by their comments:
I get that feeling when we drive from Boston to Mississippi to visit my family. I just want to get there and be freeeeeeeee!
That’s how I feel every time we move from one base to another. The car is so packed up I can’t even breathe.
They look so relieved at the end! That’s how I felt when we left my old house and finally got here (new house). I was the last one out of the car and I lied on the driveway and cried with happiness. I was so happy to be done with the ride.
How fitting that the book ends with Khan’s dedication:
For travelers everywhere…may you always find comfort, joy, and welcoming strangers on your journey. – N.K