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Princess Shusha doesn’t look like a fairy-tale princess. She has a mane of wild curls and a mischievous grin and she loves to draw and to dream. Little Shusha lives in a palace with her parents and her two sisters, who wear nice dresses and have neatly combed hair. They think Shusha looks like a sheep, but she doesn’t care. She collects leaves, watches insects, smells flowers, listens to the birds, and dreams that she’s a famous artist. When her birthday draws near and her messy room has to be cleaned and painted, Shusha is sent off to her grandmother. Shusha and her granny love hanging out together, but after three days Shusha goes back to the palace with a new set of paints granny bought her. When she opens the door of her room, it is empty and the walls are as white as snow. Shusha takes her new paints and begins painting on the walls, until suddenly she hears footsteps approaching. She gets a fright and hides away, because she knows it is forbidden to paint on the palace walls. One of the palace’s high officials enters with some of his helpers, and when they see the colorful scene to her surprise they break out in admiring exclamations. “A masterpiece! Magnificent, the last word …” declares the high official self-importantly. The King and Queen come, and they too extravagantly praise the paintings. Shusha comes out of hiding, and everyone applauds her. Proud of his daughter the artist, the King gives her special permission to paint anywhere she may choose.

Gil-ly Alon Curiel’s book encourages creativity and individualism and deals with such questions as what it means to be an artist, what is creative freedom, and how to nurture a child’s talents.

Title Shusha
Genre Children
Illustrations Gil-li Alon Curiel
Publisher (Hebrew) Hakibbutz Hameuchad
No. Pages 30pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Shusha