Dubai, UAE - A book expo was held in support of the President of UAE's directive on the Year of Reading. Wandering among the vendors represented from most all countries region, I found a few Arabic picture books to take home with me to add to my personal collection.
One of the few I chose included Naughty Kitty, by Abeer Taher, published by Dar al Yasmine and illustrated by Maya Fidawi. Special thanks to Katie Norregaard, who graciously translated this book from Arabic to English for me. This picture book tells a story of an old man who finds a cat, who turns out to make a mess of everything. With no patience for this trouble, the old man gives the cat away again and again, only to find the cat swiftly returned to him. When the old man takes his cat to the farthest place on earth, he realizes he cannot return home without this cat (literally). The well-balanced illustrations with images of silly juxtapositions give the story an imaginative setting, playfully characterizing the relationship between the man and his naughty cat. This book also won the Eltisalat Award for Arabic Children's Literature in 2014, Children's Book of the Year.