Zanib Mian’s Planet Omar series is a laugh-out-loud set of stories, with amazing cartoon-style
illustrations by Kyan Cheng. The books are perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid.
Omar is a boy with a huge imagination that can land him in trouble. As well as being very funny, the stories tackle important issues like bullying and prejudice, with Omar’s diary-style entries covering the everyday ups and downs of life including Muslim traditions, school worries, friendships, family life and a big dose of toilet humour.
The newest story in the series is out this month. In the fifth book, Ultimate Rocket Blast, Omar and his friends are taking part in a national rocket-building competition. With a little help from Omar’s scientist mum and dad, they come up with a rocket that’s ready to blast off. But when someone starts sabotaging the rockets, the boys find themselves on a new mission to reveal the culprit…
Author Zanib Mian stopped by our blog this week to answer questions about the series…
with Zanib Mian, author of Planet Omar
What were your favourite books to read as a child?
I loved reading Dr Seuss and Roald Dahl. I think they must have inspired me to write, although I never dreamt of becoming an author.
How did you come up with the idea for Planet Omar?
My son was nine years old at the time and he was the kind of boy that would make a fantastic character in a book. I felt that a larger audience needed to read about a boy like him and a family like mine – the average Muslim family next door.
I was painfully aware of the misconceptions that some people might have of Muslims and of the surge in faith-based bullying in schools. I guess that was my impetus. To correct that somewhat.
Who inspired the other characters in the book?
I mentioned that Omar is based on my son, and the funny thing is that all of the characters in the family were written by taking characteristics from my family members, including myself!
A lot of the funny moments in the book actually took place in my family!
What do you love most about being an author?
Making up fun stories and characters to share with readers, who in turn, react in a very positive way. I’ve now written book two and most of book three for the Planet Omar series.
When I’m writing, Omar and his friends feel like real people. I know them very well and I can choose what adventures they go on next. It’s great fun!
Many thanks to Zanib for swinging by!
> Visit our Reading for Pleasure Hub
> Browse our Topic Booklists
> View our printable year group booklists.
> See our Books of the Month.