Room for Everyone by Naaz Khan. Illustrated by Mercè López

Rollicking, rambunctious, and riveting, this hilarious excursion on a daladala—a shared minibus with benches inside—invites children to join Musa and his sister, Dada, on a trip to the beaches of Zanzibar. No sooner are they on their way than they encounter a man facing a problematic situation: his bike has no seat. So the warm-hearted daladala driver pulls over to see if he needs a ride: “It’s hotter than peppers out there in the sun! / Come in, there’s room for everyone!” Though Musa says to his sister that there isn’t room on the daladala for anyone else, Dada replies, “’Don’t worry, Musa, there’s space galore! / If you move just a bit we can make room for more.’ / So in came the man with his sweaty old feet / and his bike with no bell and no light and no seat, / and after some wiggles / and giggles and fun, / they made enough room for everyone.” 

Soon, a herder with two goats, three vendors with baskets of fruit, a farmer with four pails filled with milk, five mamas with fish, a farmer with six chickens, several men with seven umbrellas, a vendor carrying eight sugarcanes and nine coconuts, and 10 divers fill the daladala to bursting. Each time Musa objects that there isn’t enough room, and each time Dada assures him that there is enough space for everyone. Finally, the daladala and its precious cargo arrive at the beach, and everyone joyfully disembarks.   

A playful, rhyming counting book that celebrates Zanzibarian culture and the joy of welcoming strangers, Room for Everyone is sure to repeatedly delight children and the adults who read with them. (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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