Book review: It Must Have Been You! By Zanib Mian

It must have been You! By Zanib Mian and illustrated by Fatima Mian.

This super book is a heart warming read aloud book that my eldest daughter (whom I normally call Little One) has taken quite a liking to. It is a clever read that makes you think about children and their actions. Sometimes things seem a particular way but you may just need to find out a little more before you get cross or show your “big eyes.”

It is a brilliant book to get 3 years and upwards excited about reading and not just because of the text but also on how the text is presented. The book plays clever games with the typography, twisting round light bulbs and featuring in grandads eyebrows! Fantastic and super fun.

The main character is illustrated beautifully by Fatima Mian, with her round beautiful big eyes and her cute bunches in her hair. In the story she is a nameless little girl who “is about the same age as you.” What a lovely way of connecting to your readers by Mian. I could see my daughter smile as I read that.

The little girl is “hungry” and “bored” uh oh! She actually wants to do the right thing but it’s just not quite working out that way. On trying to get a piece of pie “she pulled it so slowly” but sadly it fell. Her big sister enters just as it happens and she gets very cross exclaiming “…It must have been you!”

The story continues and just as she wants to put things right there is another spillage but this time beads. My daughter was so sad when this happened and asked me why the adults in the house, grandad and mamma, did not help get the beads down from the shelf for her.

Even though the little girl gets told off again, this time by her grandad it does not deter her and she is adamant in making things right. She delights her family by the end of the story and receives much praise and affection for her efforts. She also makes her family realise that perhaps they were too busy.

The little girl looks sooo happy at the end of the story. Her eyes are smiling and her face covered in lipstick marks which Little One thought were stampers. Don’t you just love toddlers.

The family in the book consists of two girls, their mamma and grandfather. They are of the Muslim faith, not that there is any mention of this in the story, but the mother is wearing a hijab (head scarf). Little One has not commented on the mothers hijab but I’m pleased that it is an inclusive read and that there are more faiths being represented in children’s literature. This is true to Mian’s writing and also representative of my faith which I’m pleased Little One is seeing positively.

With its adorable illustrations, clever rhyming writing and even the endpapers drawn by real children, this book is very representative of allowing children to be children.

This book is receiving a lot of love from Little One and I hope you find it to read too.

I purchased this book from Muslim Children’s Books. They were super speedy with delivery and kept me up to date about my order, perfect.

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