As far as the plot and format is concerned, there is little here that is original. Nasty headmaster, “Mr McScary”. Check. Lovely, Miss Honey-esque teacher, Mrs Hutchinson. Check. Annoying teenage sister. Check. However, the illustrations are jolly, the writing is light on its feet and Mian’s gentle mixing of humour and Muslim tradition (there’s a nice explanation of “halal” when Esa doesn’t understand why he can’t eat chicken at nursery, but he can at home) is fresh and necessary.