Very entertaining and really well written. This book follows the development of an unlikely friendship between two very distinct creatures, a bird called Shoukry and a spider named Kamal. Kamal and Shoukry become instant friends and make up stories about what animal each one really is and how they live their lives. They spend ages telling each other stories until they hear a car tyre explode which scares both of them so they hide behind a rock. Realizing that the lies must end, they tell each other what they really are, which they thought was nothing but a mere bird and a spider. What is interesting about the book is that it shows how these two opposites can become the best of friends after they accept their differences and are able to be themselves around each other. I think this is a very heartwarming message for children, teaching them that you can be friends with almost anyone. Another important aspect of this book is that it is filled with so many colours that are pleasing to the eye, also depicting more dialogue between the characters in the illustrations rather than the storyline itself.
Reviewed by Darah Sabry
Kamal wa Shukri (Kamal and Shukri)
Author and Illustrator: Walid Taher
Cairo: Al Shorouk Publishing House, 2014
Nominated for Best Text of the Year Etisalat Award
This is a hilariously clever text about a spider and a small bird with delusions of grandeur that are soon put in perspective. Once again, Taher does not shy from describing imperfect children prone to posturing and exaggeration, and offers them a safe face-saving way back out of the situations they have created. The digitally generated images in bold primary colors are beautiful and the cheeky language that is perfect for early readers and their older and younger siblings makes this a winning text that parents will enjoy reading out loud and rereading-if they can get through it without several fits of delighted giggles! Two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Reviewed by Yasmine Motawy