Once again Mina Javaherbin retells a Rumi story in a fun, charming way to children that probably have never heard his stories before. The illustrations bring this 32 page tale written on an AR 4.6 level to life. While written for older elementary children, this book works well for kindergarteners and 1st graders in story time as well. The pictures and descriptions make for an engaging story for all levels and the twist at the end make you want to go back and read it again and again.
A wealthy Persian merchant brings a parrot from India to call and sing to those passing by to come in to the shop. The parrot helps make the merchant famous and before long he has completely sold out of all his wares. He plans to return to India and asks his family what they want him to bring back, he even asks the parrot. The parrot asks for nothing but a message to be delivered to his friends about how he misses them and about his new home and cage. The story follows the merchant to India and through it, showing and telling about the sites and goods. On the way back the merchant stops in a tropical forest to deliver the parrot’s message. The birds listen carefully and then one by one, fall off their branches with their backs on the ground and their feet in the air. When the merchant returns he delivers the message and the same thing happens to his parrot. (SPOILER). Sad that he has caused his parrot to die, he takes him out of the cage where in an instant the parrot flies out of the hole in the domed ceiling all the way home to his friends in India.
Islam isn’t shown, and I debated including it, but culturally it is relevant with the character journeying from Iran to India and the author being from Iran. Plus it is based on a Rumi poem. There is nothing un Islamic in the book, and there is plenty of little places in the book to get kid’s opinion on the action, thus making it a book definitely worth your time.
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