Book Review: Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy by Zanib Mian
My kids loved Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet for its loving ‘own voices’ immersion in a British Pakistani family adapting to life in a new town, new school and the ups and downs that brings and my children are so pleased to say that Omar has returned better than ever and with wonderful illustrations from Nasaya Mafiridik.
You can’t help but love Omar whether he is caught sneaking down to play X-Box after bedtime or giving his mum the most creative full-sensory spa treatment ever.
In the original Planet Omar, Zanib Mian embedded into the story details and explanations about British-Pakistani and British Muslim life within a frankly gorgeous and loving family. This book similarly explores concepts to celebrate diversity with young British Pakistani and Muslim children recognising themselves in Omar’s family and the way they have both British and Pakistani-Muslim elements
Planet Omar Unexpected Super Spy is a super-cute, fun packed illustrated adventure through the life of Omar as he shines and struggles but always with kindness and good intentions in his heart.
Omar and his friends have been saving up their pocket money for ages so they can have the world’s most epic Nerf Blaster battle. But when Omar discovers that his mosque is in trouble, they decide to donate their pennies to help save it.
Then they try to raise some more money by:
Doing some chores (boorrring)
Selling some home-made cookies (deeelicious)
Holding a talent contest (YESSSSSSS)
Everything goes PERFECTLY until the money mysteriously goes missing. Can they work out who has taken it in time to stop the mosque closing down?
And what exactly is Omar’s sister Maryam hiding in her room…?
The use of the illustrations/typography would make this book accessible to younger children/children who struggle with reading the author makes the reader feel like they were inside the mind of Omar and could relate to what he was going through. The humorous nature of the text helped to sensitively touch on issues such as racism, stereotyping and different cultures. I loved the story of this one and how amazing Omar and his friends were in trying to save the mosque – it was very heart-warming. I could read these books over and over again, they are fun and informative. Very excited for book 3!
This book is perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid.