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THE GIFTS OF WALI DAD by Aaron Shepard


A Tale of India and Pakistan

adapted by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Daniel San Souci

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: May 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-684-19445-7
Publisher: Atheneum

 A comic folktale with a plot of crystalline symmetry. Wali Dad is a poor grass-cutter who discovers that he has saved more money than he needs. He gets rid of it by buying a bracelet to send to a princess, but she sends him a bigger gift in return. The distraught Wali Dad sends her gift on to a prince, but the prince responds with an even larger present of his own. Anguished, Wali Dad now sends this gift to the princess, and the escalation of gift-giving continues until the prince and the princess decide to meet the generous old man. When they show up at his house, they see each other and instantly fall in love. This happy story by Shepard (The Enchanted Storks, p. 394) has no evil characters and an irresistible hero, pictured by San Souci as a skinny old man with kind eyes and a big nose. The skillfully constructed watercolors are sometimes laid out in storyboard- fashion: The page is broken up into several frames, with different shots of the same scene. A fun, well-crafted book, with nothing out of place. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)