Author: H. B. Sahibzada
Illustrator: M. N. Sialvi
Publisher: STI School Publishing (2009)
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery but perfect imitation in any form is difficult to achieve. People often imitate the manners, the dress, the speech of others but in the process only end up making themselves look silly. So when I saw this book (part of the ‘Tales from Dhikarville’ series), which copies (in every sense) the Mr Men books, I was immensely skeptical about it. I thought this book would make me cringe but I was pleasantly surprised.
Brother Sawm is a brother (!) who lives in Dhikarville and he loves to fast. One day he is fasting and he is bored and hungry. He wonders around town watching other brothers and sisters enjoying their food (sister Halaawah is eating a jam sandwich and brother Salah is nibbling dates). He decides to play a trick on sister Saeedah by ordering a large meal for her from the Dhikarville restaurant. The desired effect is achieved and brother Sawm rolls about with laughter until brother Taqwaa catches him. And here comes the moral of the story: is there any point to your voluntary fast if it does not stop you behaving badly?
The story is well written, it flows, it makes you laugh and the pictures are great. Boys will greatly enjoy this book, it has humour that will appeal to them but girls will like it too. The age range that will enjoy this are s 5-7 year olds, but older reluctant boy readers won’t mind reading this either. I was sure I would not like this book but I did. It was great and most surprising of all, there was no cringe-worthy moment in sight.