SHAHNAMEH by Abolqaesm Ferdowsi

SHAHNAMEH

The Persian Book of Kings
by , retold by , illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this adaptation of the Iranian epic, finished in the 11th century by Ferdowsi, the tragic tale of Rustam and Sohrab takes center stage.

The chronology of Persian kings at the beginning is difficult to follow, with many names to master and innumerable battle scenes, but as the great hero Rustam enters the story, events begin to slow down.  His exploits are described in detail. Years later, his son Sohrab, never having met his father, seeks him out on the battlefield. He is deceived by Rustam, who does not realize that Sohrab is his son. Sohrab’s death at the hands of his father, ignorant of the relationship, is emotionally engaging. Laird’s language is hyperbolic, as befits the description of mythological heroes, but it is always accessible, despite the occasional introduction of couplets reminiscent of the original poem. The illustrator uses elements of Persian miniatures in her naïve style, melding painting and collage. Handsomely produced with flowery borders on each page and intense color, the single- and double-page spreads are full of movement. Less successful are the smaller black-and-white vignettes, which are sometimes intertwined with the attractive borders. Lists of characters and museums with collections of Persian miniatures are included.

Although there are many stories omitted in this version, this is an excellent starting place to encounter the ancient heroes of Iran. (introduction) (Folklore. 9-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84780-253-8
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Frances Lincoln
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2012




MORE BY ELIZABETH LAIRD

ChildrenTHE BETRAYAL OF MAGGIE BLAIR by Elizabeth Laird
by Elizabeth Laird
ChildrenPEA BOY by Elizabeth Laird
by Elizabeth Laird

MORE BY SHIRIN ADL

ChildrenLET'S CELEBRATE! by Debjani Chatterjee
by Debjani Chatterjee
ChildrenPEA BOY by Elizabeth Laird
by Elizabeth Laird
ChildrenRAMADAN MOON by Na’ima B. Robert
by Na’ima B. Robert

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE SEVEN WISE PRINCESSES by Wafa’ Tarnowska
by Wafa’ Tarnowska
ChildrenGILGAMESH THE HERO by Geraldine McCaughrean
by Geraldine McCaughrean
ChildrenTHE WANDERINGS OF ODYSSEUS by Rosemary Sutcliff
by Rosemary Sutcliff