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Reviewed by Kim Zoby for Readers' Favorite
Matti and Massi Missions Washington, DC by Zeina Hamad is an interactive educational children's storybook packed full of teachable moments for parents. The story begins with Matti and his brother Massi on a flight to Washington, DC, preparing for a mission with six stops. Upon arrival at Reagan International Airport, Captain Smiley hands the boys their mission packet and instructions for their first stop. Together the boys, with their mission coach Nia, fluent in American sign language, tour Washington, checking off the mission's requirements. Nia is the child of deaf adults and shows Matti and Massi thirteen different hand motions of sign language with which to communicate. Part of the quest is to visit the historically significant Washington landmarks such as the Smithsonian, Dupont Circle, and the Washington Monument.
Matti and Massi Missions Washington, DC enables families to experience the highlights of visiting the capital from the comfort of their kitchen table. Historical and note-worthy facts complement the adventure by adding different aspects children will find interesting and parents will find nostalgic. As a homeschooling household, I am thrilled by the teaching opportunities in this book. Zeina Hamad’s inclusion of problem-solving, time management, American sign language vocabulary, and geography teaches young children while keeping them entertained and on track to complete the mission. My grandkids were fascinated with the beautiful illustrations, and the use of sign language piqued their interest in the deaf community. Questions arose about go-go music, so we searched the internet for examples. Matti and Massi Missions are great resources for introducing children to geography, history, and other languages.