Spilt Milk

Written by: Haifa Mohareb Sawarka, Illustrated by: Javiera Mac- Lean,


Suddenly the cup slips from Sanjoob’s hand and the milk forms a big white pool on the floor. Sanjoob is mesmerized by the different formations spilt milk can form but when Papa Sanjoob tells him an old tale about how the culprit who spills milk is usually caught, Sanjoob springs into action.

Parent/Teacher Guide

A cup of milk slips from Sanjoub’s hand and spills all over the floor, turning into a white pool on the floor. Sanjoub refuses to admit that he is the one who spilled the milk, but his dad tells him that the pool of milk on the floor will show him who the culprit is, who must then be the one who cleans it up. Sanjoub is worried when the pool of milk keeps changing shape, first it is a cloud, then a big ship, then a bird, then an elephant soon it will show the truth and turn into a squirrel. Sanjoub takes up the broom and starts to mop up the floor.The significance that this story about misconduct holds is twofold, since it addresses both children and grown-ups. It speaks to children of a young age who do not admit to mistakes and often transfer the blame onto someone else. It also indirectly advises adults about how to deal with a child in this situation. Young children are not yet able to recognize the boundary between right and wrong, since they view mistakes in accordance with their own childish standards and this means that mistakes often seem more trivial to them.


* The bowl slipped from Sanjoub’s hand by accident. Why did Sanjoub not tell his father this?

* “Daddy Sinjab” seems to be easy-going and kind. What are the things in the story which indicate this?

* Sanjoub seems adventurous and intelligent. How do you know this?

* Why did “daddy Sinjab” tell Sanjoub about the old story which reveals the culprit? Explain how admitting to mistakes doesn’t have to be immediate. You can give someone who has done something wrong time to think about how to apologize or express their regret for what they’ve done.

* At the end of the story Sanjoub recognizes that he must clean the floor. What leads him to this recognition? It is important to learn from our mistakes so that we can learn what the correct things to do are.

* What does Sanjoub imagine the pool of milk to be like? Are there things around us which resemble others? You could mention the shapes of clouds or how liquids take the form of whatever container they are in.

* How does “daddy Sanjab” deal with this problem? Do you think he succeeds in solving it?

Additional information
ISBN 9789957041410
Binding Hard Cover
Pages 28
Age Range 3+
Year of Publication 2019
Weight 0.425 kg
Dimensions 22 × 27 cm


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About the Author: Haifa Mohareb Sawarka

Haifa Sawarka a Palestinian writer with a degree in Comparative Literature. She participated in many writing workshops as a researcher and later as a writer of Children Literature. While researching children literature she found herself inspired to write stories for early childhood. Her first published book is “ There is Something in My Hand” which to her delight and surprise was shortlisted for the prestigious Etisalat Award for Children Literature

About the Illustrator: Javiera Mac- Lean

Illustrator and Chilean graphic designer. She has written and illustrated 2 albums: "the cloud in the window" 2011, and "folding adventure" 2015, both published by Bibliográfica Internacional in Chile, as well as illustrating other books related to child psychology.