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Children's Fiction General

The Girl Who Lost Her Smile

by (author) Karim Alrawi

illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

Tradewind Books
Initial publish date
Jan 2000
General, Middle East, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2000
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2001
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
  • Reading age: 3 to 5


In the wonderous city of Baghdad lives a young girl called Jehan. One morning, Jehan wakes and sees that her smile is lost. She looks everywhere. Jugglers and fire-eaters come to help her find it. Artists paint murals on the walls of her room. They all try their hardest to entertain Jehan, but still, she cannot find her smile. Derived from a collection of Islamic stories, The Girl Who Lost Her Smile is a simple folktale about uncovering life's hidden beauty.

About the authors

KARIM ALRAWI was born in Alexandria, Egypt. He went to school in England and after graduation he worked as a writer at several theatres including the Royal Court Theatre and the Theatre Royal Stratford East. Returning to Egypt he taught in the theatre department of the American University in Cairo. After his plays were banned by the Egyptian state censor, he became active in the newly formed Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. This eventually led to his arrest and interrogation by state security officers.

After re-joining his family in Canada he taught at the University of Victoria and later was a resident writer at theatres in the US. After a period as editor-in-chief of Arabica, a cultural and current affairs magazine for the Arab-American community, Alrawi supervised aid and development projects (funded by USAID and CIDA) in North Africa and South Asia. He was in the Middle East during the 2011 Arab uprisings.

He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Book of Sands is his first novel. It won the inaugural HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction.

Karim Alrawi's profile page

Stefan Czernecki lives in Vancouver but has traveled all over the world. His work reflects his global outlook, as he draws his artistic inspiration from the folk art of the countries he has visited. Stefan is the illustrator of many titles, including Paper Lanterns, The Singing Snake, The Sleeping Bread, Mr. Belinsky's Bagels and Mama God, Papa God.

Stefan Czernecki's profile page

Other titles by Karim Alrawi

Other titles by Stefan Czernecki