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Arabic Children's Stories in Colloquial Dialects - قُصَصْ بالعربيّة العَامِيِّة للأَطْفال 

"The Girl Who Lost Her Imagination" in English


Page 1

Sheherazade is a little girl with a big name, and a bigger imagination, that doesn't always do what it is told.

Sheherazade asks: "Why?"

Page 2

The imagination answers her: "Why not?"

Page 3

On Monday, Sheherazade woke up in the morning in her home in New York and her favorite color was… rainbow.

Sheherazade was a little surprised. When she had gone to sleep in her brown bed the night before, her favorite colors had been pink,  gold and snow white.

Page 4

Mother: "Darling, a rainbow isn't one color. It is lots of colors all together - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.”

 Sheherazade: "But I had a rainbow-colored cake for my birthday. And I once saw a rainbow. And I can even draw a rainbow. So why can't a rainbow be my favorite color?"

Page 5

What Sheherazade didn't know was that while she was fast asleep, her imagination had been playing in her bedroom all night long.

Page 6

The imagination had convinced Sheherazade's silver tiara to reflect the beautiful white moonbeams onto the bedroom walls.

Tiara: “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

Imagination: "Go on, no-one will ever notice."

Page 7

Then it encouraged the water bottle to scatter the water drops over the moonbeams.

Imagination talking to the water bottle: “Play, have some fun. No one will notice because the water drops will all be dry by morning.”

Page 8

Finally, it convinced Sheherazade's gold-rimmed finjaan to catch the moonbeams and water drops and swirl them around inside its beautiful colorful glass curves until the white light turned into a rainbow. The colors floated around the room and across Sheherazade's face as she slept.

Page 9

When Sheherazade woke up from her sleep, her imagination was still asleep, warm in bed, because it was tired from playing all night long.

Mother: "Come on, darling, we’re ready. Where are your purple coat, and your black hat, and your colorful gloves?"

Page 10 

Imagination: "I'm sleepy. Leave me alone."

Page 11

Sheherazade went to school that day without her imagination, and the whole trip she was unusually quiet.

Page 12

Sheherazade didn’t ask any questions on the way to school - about whether the tall, brown trees were skyscrapers, or if cars get tired walking all day long, or if the falling red and orange autumn leaves climbed back up into the branches in spring.

Page 13 and 14

Today Sheherazade didn't hear the rumble of a subway train under her feet and pretend it was a dragon running after her.

Page 15

Usually when Sheherazade arrives at school she puts her purple coat over her head and pretends to be a monster. But today she didn’t do that. She didn’t turn tables into castles, and chairs into horses.

Page 16

In fact, today Sheherazade wasn’t herself at all.

Youssef: "Do you want to play?"

 Sheherazade: "Play what?"

Page 17

It was a very long and boring day.

Page 18

But when the yellow sun began to go down in the sky after noon, Sheherazade's imagination woke up, rested and refreshed.

 Imagination: "Where is Sheherazade?"

Page 19

The imagination grabbed the golden finjaan with the rainbow colors, and threw them into the sunlight, where they burst into a full, bright, rainbow arching from the sky to the ground.

Page 20 and 21

In her class, Sheherazade went to feed the goldfish and through the glass of the fishbowl she saw the rainbow, and at that moment she knew that she had found her lost imagination.

Sheherazade: “Why, who, where, how, wow! Let’s play, let’s dance!”

Page 22

Sheherazade and the imagination played together for the rest of the day.

Page 23

And when Sheherazade went to sleep that night, her favorite color was still rainbow.

Page 24






Everybody is from somewhere, but Sheherazade is from many places.

Sheherazade lives in New York City, where buildings grow taller and taller each day.

Sheherazade's mother is Palestinian, and her grandfather and grandmother have red apples and green olives in their orchard.

Her father is from London, where the wide River Thames winds right and left, right and left, beneath many bridges.

Sheherazade is named after a beautiful statue in Baghdad, which is in Iraq. The statue is of the brave and clever Queen Sheherazade, who filled the world with beautiful, wonderful stories. The stories were about genies in lanterns, flying carpets and treasure in magic caves.