A magical book takes readers to another world.

THE PHOENIX OF PERSIA

From the One Story, Many Voices series

A story of ancient Persia inside a story of 20th-century Iran accompanied by an easily accessible soundtrack.

A brother and sister in Iran run to the public park to listen to a storyteller backed by musicians narrate the tale of Prince Zal and the Simorgh, an ancient wise bird with the powers to make dreams come true. Zal is born to a Persian king and queen who have long awaited a child. However, when the king sees that the child’s hair is white as snow, he banishes the babe. The Simorgh finds the crying baby abandoned in the forest and raises him with her chicks, teaching him poetry, science, the history of the universe, and all else a prince needs to know. The king finds Zal after 16 years of regret and offers him the throne, but Zal prefers to stay with the mother who raised him. The Simorgh saves the day with her wisdom, the storyteller and musicians pack their gear, and the little children can’t wait to hear the remainder of the story the next day. This beautiful, traditional tale is illustrated with a touch of magic by Sharif, who uses jewel-toned colors applied with a scratchboard effect that seems to pick out every feather on the Simorgh’s body. A QR code provides access to the soundtrack, in which each character is “voiced” by a different traditional Iranian instrument (explained in the backmatter).

A magical book takes readers to another world. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-910328-43-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiny Owl

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some...

RALPH TELLS A STORY

With a little help from his audience, a young storyteller gets over a solid case of writer’s block in this engaging debut.

Despite the (sometimes creatively spelled) examples produced by all his classmates and the teacher’s assertion that “Stories are everywhere!” Ralph can’t get past putting his name at the top of his paper. One day, lying under the desk in despair, he remembers finding an inchworm in the park. That’s all he has, though, until his classmates’ questions—“Did it feel squishy?” “Did your mom let you keep it?” “Did you name it?”—open the floodgates for a rousing yarn featuring an interloping toddler, a broad comic turn and a dramatic rescue. Hanlon illustrates the episode with childlike scenes done in transparent colors, featuring friendly-looking children with big smiles and widely spaced button eyes. The narrative text is printed in standard type, but the children’s dialogue is rendered in hand-lettered printing within speech balloons. The episode is enhanced with a page of elementary writing tips and the tantalizing titles of his many subsequent stories (“When I Ate Too Much Spaghetti,” “The Scariest Hamster,” “When the Librarian Yelled Really Loud at Me,” etc.) on the back endpapers.

An engaging mix of gentle behavior modeling and inventive story ideas that may well provide just the push needed to get some budding young writers off and running. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2012

ISBN: 978-0761461807

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Amazon Children's Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way.

NOAH CHASES THE WIND

A young boy sees things a little differently than others.

Noah can see patterns in the dust when it sparkles in the sunlight. And if he puts his nose to the ground, he can smell the “green tang of the ants in the grass.” His most favorite thing of all, however, is to read. Noah has endless curiosity about how and why things work. Books open the door to those answers. But there is one question the books do not explain. When the wind comes whistling by, where does it go? Noah decides to find out. In a chase that has a slight element of danger—wind, after all, is unpredictable—Noah runs down streets, across bridges, near a highway, until the wind lifts him off his feet. Cowman’s gusty wisps show each stream of air turning a different jewel tone, swirling all around. The ribbons gently bring Noah home, setting him down under the same thinking tree where he began. Did it really happen? Worthington’s sensitive exploration leaves readers with their own set of questions and perhaps gratitude for all types of perspective. An author’s note mentions children on the autism spectrum but widens to include all who feel a little different.

An invitation to wonder, imagine and look at everything (humans included) in a new way. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60554-356-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Redleaf Lane

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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