Recommending Palestinian Kid Lit: ‘The Shy Radish’

Reviewed by Elisabet Risberg, translated by Faye Wikner

Written and illustrated by Yara Bamieh

Published by the Palestine Writing Workshop

Before I held this book in my hands I didn’t know that there are so many types of radishes, both in color and shape. But this story is about a very special radish, the shy radish.

She wondered why it’s a problem that she was quieter and calmer than the others. She felt alone. Imagine if she could never find friends, and if during her whole life she would have to be a red, shy, and lonely radish!

She began to imitate the others, talking loudly, gesturing, laughing at others, looking others in the eye, but it was difficult. She was still a super red radish that blushed as soon as someone looked at her.

One day she met a group of radishes in all kinds of shapes, but all were red like she was! Could it be “The Foundation for Red Radishes”? It turned out only to be some friends out on a walk. The red radishes became curious and asked:

Who are you?

Why haven’t we seen you before?

Do you like jumping?

Should we see who is the reddest?

Do you like za’tar?

So many questions?! The shy radish felt her cheeks turn red and she couldn’t say a single word. But one radish that wasn’t red came closer and asked:

Are you just like me, a shy radish?

Yes, I think so, especially when they try to talk to me!

The two shy radishes slowly started talking to each other and soon became friends. The two of them were so much more than shy, sometimes happy, sometimes angry, especially when everyone always called them “the shy radish.” Why do they always have to “be something”? Sometimes you just want to be who you are.

This book is so new that it has not been added to Palestine Writing Workshop’s website yet, but if you want to get a hold of it you can email


Elisabet Risberg is a Swedish librarian reading Arabic children’s literature. Find her at @arabarnlitt on Instagram and at her blog,, where this review first appeared in Swedish.