GOHA THE WISE FOOL by Denys  Johnson-Davies


Age Range: 7 - 10
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Goha is the Egyptian incarnation of the Turkish Hoja Nasrudin (also known as Nasreddin Hoca) and the Iranian Mulla Nasrudin. He is a popular folk character whom some say was a real man in 13th-century Turkey. The 15 stories gathered here are all examples of the brief, funny tales about a man who acts foolishly when he is trying to be wise, and behaves wisely when he is acting like a fool. This mellow trickster surprises a thief by hiding in his closet and tells the thief that he’s hiding because he’s embarrassed that there is nothing to steal. In another tale, Goha tells a fib about a party at the governor’s house to stop some boys from throwing stones at him. The news sounds so good he starts to believe it himself. Artists from the Street of the Tentmakers in Cairo created the unique appliqué scenes; the brightly colored bits of cloth applied to beige, loosely woven fabric are full of humor and artistry. A delightful introduction to the folklore of a region with a fascinating endnote about the illustrations, their creators and the origins of the stories. (Folklore. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-399-24222-8
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005


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