Musical Tickles Set

Compiled by: Taghreed Najjar, Illustrated by: Hiba farran,


A collection of 34 Arabic rhymes that stimulate children’s brain development in areas such as counting, vocabulary building and memorization.The collected rhymes were categorized according to subjects and presented in three beautifully illustrated board books along with an audio CD. The books in the set are entitled; Us Three Together (counting rhymes), Mr. Policeman (rhymes about jobs), and Saadeh the Monkey (silly rhymes). An audio Cd is included inside the set to help both parent and child sing along these lovely rhymes.

Parent/Teacher Guide

All in all rhymes are a bridge between the generations, a legacy that we carry from the past and pass on to our children. In this set of three books we have collected 34 rhymes and put them in three categories; Counting Rhymes, Rhymes about jobs and occupations and Silly Rhymes. The traditional rhymes reflect the customs and lifestyles of the culture. The richness of the rhymes comes from the different layers of meaning in many of them. Included are rhymes that are connected to certain celebrations like the rhyme "Seven Camels”. This rhyme was recited to the child by the mother or grandmother when the first tooth appeared. The mother promises to load seven camels with nuts and good things to eat in celebration of the first tooth. Traditionally a special sweet called “snoonieh” is served to guests which is garnished with different types of nuts. Another rhyme is about the child’s first haircut. The mother recites this rhyme "The Barber" to show how much she loves her child and her great expectations for him when he grows up; she hopes he will be the Shekh of all sheikhs. On one level the modern child will enjoy the rhyme as a rhyme about a barber and a haircut, but if one digs deeper one can understand and appreciate the occasion that this rhyme was used. “Bolbol Balabel" is another such rhyme. It was recited to show the longing for a far away son or husband or relative. The bird (bolbol) flying from tree top to tree top brings the news that the long absent brothers are coming back and the rhyme urges a special welcome for them by the whole community. Not all the rhymes we collected have such a clear connection to occasions, some were probably created by children while playing games especially counting out games. Some have nonsense words which amuse children, while the rhythm and beat of the rhymes makes it fun for the kids to repeat.


One of the best publications in the Arab World in 2012/2013 - as selected by the National Centre for Children's Literature (a service of the French National Library)

Additional information
ISBN 9789957040765
Binding 3 Board Books + CD
Age Range 0+
Year of Publication 2013
Weight 0.7545 kg
Dimensions 15 × 1 × 21 cm

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About the Author: Taghreed Najjar

"Taghreed Najjar is a pioneer of modern children's literature in Jordan. A graduate of the American University of Beirut,Taghreed started her career as a teacher before becoming a full time writer of picture books and young adult novels. Her YA novels have been celebrated widely by her readers and various schools in the region have adopted them as part of their curriculum. A number of her books have won awards while others have been translated into foreign languages like English, Swedish, Turkish, French and Chinese.  
One of her most critically acclaimed works is a series of ten picture books revolving around six-year old Jude and her family and friends.'The Halazone Series', deals with everyday childhood issues which are treated with humor and deftness by the author. One of Taghreed’s pet projects was collecting old Arabic children rhymes and publishing them in book and digital form to make them accessible to the modern child and family of today. She published two collections of rhymes, the latest entitled 'Musical Tickles' was selected by the National Centre for Children's Literature (a service of the French National Library) as one of the best publications in the Arab World in 2012/2013.

Taghreed is a member of the Jordanian Writer’s Association and takes part in international and regional conferences and workshops that deal with children literature."

About the Illustrator: Hiba farran

Hiba Farran is  a freelance graphic  designer and illustrator. She graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor degree in graphic design She has illustrated and designed several children’s books published in Lebanon and abroad. Currently Hiba is interested in the visual translation of knowledge and data to young audiences.