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THE DREAM BIRD by Lale  Süphandagi


by Lale Süphandagi ; illustrated by Ibrahim Akdag

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: April 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-59784-282-2
Publisher: Tughra Books

In three teaching tales originally written in Turkish, a golden bird affords each of a trio of modern Muslim children dream glimpses of a different “Prophet.”

Answering young Shakir’s prayer to see Muhammad, the bird carries him to the radiant house of Muhammad’s birth, to the hills where “Halima suckled and cared for him,” over the Ka’ba and on to Medina. There, the Prophet, his face “bright like the moon” (but not directly seen in the naïve-style cartoon illustration), is “helping his friends build Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque.” The dream ends atop the “Mountain of Light,” where the Qur’an was revealed. Subsequently, Marwa is vouchsafed views of Isa (the baby Jesus), who proclaims, “Without a doubt, I am a servant of Allah. Allah gave me a book and made me a Prophet. He ordered me to be kind to my mother.” Marwa and readers then see him grow up to feed the hungry (with loaves and what looks like squab rather than fishes) and heal a blind man. In the final story, Umar sees Musa (Moses) abandoned on the Nile, rescued, “chosen as a Prophet,” given the “Holy Book Tawrat (Torah)” atop an unnamed mountain and parting the sea, “by the permission of Allah.”

The narratives are bland, the figures and locales in the art generic—but Muslim and non-Muslim children alike may find the perspective illuminating. (Picture book/religion. 5-8)