Recommending Palestinian Kid Lit: ‘A Strange Adventure’

Reviewed by Ekram Abdelgawad

Written by Taghreed Najjar

Illustrated by artist Charlotte Shama

Published by Al Salwa Publishing House, Jordan

Picture book for all ages

“Embroidery is not just colourful threads and beautiful shapes, my love, it tells stories, too,”—so Auntie Suhaylah tells young Hind.

Hind has entered a fantasy world of “tatreez,” or traditional Palestinian embroidery, with a magical needle and a spool of red thread. In this amazing world, Hind has fun with colorful and cheerful creatures.

However, suddenly, a dark monster appears, and the struggle begins: between those who support colors and those who advocate a colorless life. Who will win at the end? The incidents unfold in an interesting way with graceful rhythm accompanied by exquisite illustrations by Charlotte Shama. From the beginning of the book, one can recognize the motifs of Palestinian embroidery. Each motif has a story to tell, another layer to unfold.

I would recommend the book to any child fond of art, colors, and embroidery, and especially to who cherish their traditional clothing.

If you’re interested in more books about tatreez, we recommend سروة وراء سروة, written by Anas Aburahma and illustrated by Yara Bamieh, published by the Palestinian Museum.


Ekram Abdelgawad holds a PhD in translation of children’s literature with first honors, English Department, Faculty of Arts, Sohag University, Egypt, 2018. She taught English as a foreign language to children in Egypt for 16 years. She was an English lecturer at King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia for five years and taught translation at Faculty of Languages and Translation, Pharos University in Alexandria, Egypt for more than two years. She is currently an independent researcher in translation of children’s literature and freelance translator of children’s literature (English/Arabic). Her fields of interest are translation of children’s literature, translation studies, translation theories, and Arabic language.