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PEA BOY by Elizabeth Laird Kirkus Star

PEA BOY

And Other Stories from Iran

By Elizabeth Laird (Adaptor) , Shirin Adl (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-84507-912-3
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

The engaging storyteller, who visited Iran both before and after the Islamic Revolution, gives some historical and political background in her introduction, but her focus is rightly on the people and their tales. Overall, the stories have little Islamic content, although “The Prophet Khizir” has a religious tone, and they share motifs with many stories around the world. “The Giant Okab” can be seen as a Beauty and the Beast variant, and “Miss Cockroach and Mr Mouse” is an older version of “Perez and Martina,” a Puerto Rican story that first traveled from the Middle East to Spain. Readers who have had broad exposure to folktales will have great fun comparing and contrasting the stories with those of other places; those new to folk literature will just enjoy them. Adl, who grew up in Iran, creates collages with quirky characters, a naïve folk quality and a modern artistic sensibility. General sources of stories from Persia (Iran’s prior name) are listed. A wonderful blend of traditional stories and original art that reflects the customs of this country. (Folktales. 7-10)