Children’s Picture Books

The Mouse Who Saved Egypt

Story by Karim Alrawi

Illustrated by Bee Willey

Review: Quill & Quire

November 2011

The Mouse Who Saved Egypt is a wonderful retelling of an ancient Middle Eastern folk tale with a straightforward plot: a prince takes the time to rescue a mouse trapped in a thorn bush; when the prince later becomes pharaoh, the mouse returns to save Egypt from attack.

Alrawi’s language is as timeless as the tale he tells. His extensive experience as a playwright is on full display; his third-person narrator recites the tale passionately but without embellishment, and when the rhyming prayer to the sun god Ra appears in the story, it is relayed with appropriate reverence and solemnity.

Review below from the Canadian Children’s Book News, Spring 2012

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The Girl Who Lost her Smile

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The Mouse Who Saved Egypt

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The Girl Who Lost Her Smile

Story by Karim Alrawi

Illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

The Children's Book Review Service, 11/1/2000

“A charming multicultural story about a lost smile. Jehan lives in Persia and one morning wakes up without her smile. It takes a tiny little bird to find the right person who can help. Children all over the world will relate to the story with its simple message. The illustrations are bright and bold, just like a smile.”

St. Louis Dispatch, 10/29/2000

“Author Karim Alrawi writes a simple and inspiring story of uncovering the hidden beauty of life in “The Girl Who Lost Her Smile” for children ages 4-8. Jehan wakes up one morning to find that her smile is lost. The Jugglers, fire-eaters and the artists of the world do all they can to help her. But it is a young Persian with a small leather pouch who finally helps Jehan to uncover her own smile. Stefan Czernecki's illustrations are bold and vivid and capture the simple beauty of this folktale based on a short story in a collection of Islamic stories and poetry.”

The Midwest Book Review, 12/1/2000

“Karim Alrawi's Girl Who Lost Her Smile pairs Stefan Czernecki's drawings with the story of Jehan, a Baghdad girl who awakens to find her smile is lost. This Islamic folk story offers a rare tale to Western kids.”