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Publishers Weekly Review
Whatley's (Diary of a Wombat) lighthearted touch animates this 13th-century Persian fable, based on a poem by Rumi. The pompous Persian merchant who stars has a bulbous nose, a quizzical expression, and the physique of one of Snow White's dwarfs. His caged parrot has helped him attract customers, and the merchant has prospered over the years. The parrot asks the India-bound merchant to carry news of his captivity to his free relatives as he passes through the forest. The merchant is shocked by the parrots' response: "Suddenly, one by one, they fell off the branches with their backs on the ground and their feet in the air. Their bodies lay still under the shadow of the banyan canopy." When he delivers this news back at home, his parrot collapses, too, and the anguished merchant removes him from his cage-whereupon the parrot flies away, "...thanks to the message from my friends in India!" Javaherbin (Goal!) tells the story simply, and Whatley's insouciance takes some of the shock out of the parrots' "deaths." After the first suspenseful reading, children should clamor for repeats. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
K-Gr 3-Javaherbin retells a story taken from an ancient Persian poem, "Parrot and the Merchant," by Jalaledin Rumi. It is the tale of a wealthy merchant who keeps a parrot in his shop whose colorful feathers, singing, and talking attract many customers. When the merchant travels to India on a shopping trip, he promises to bring something home for each family member, including the parrot, whose unusual request leads to his own freedom. Colorful cartoon-style acrylic artwork shows people in traditional dress and brightly colored birds and reinforces the capably written storytelling. Whatley includes touches of humor in several of the illustrations. While this is not an essential purchase, it offers an interesting twist that could lead to a discussion of the meaning of freedom.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This handsome picture book's intriguing title will grab children, and they won't be disappointed with the twists in both story and message. A Persian merchant keeps a talking parrot that attracts crowds to his market store, and vibrant, uncluttered acrylic paintings show the large bird locked behind bars in a golden cage. When the merchant prepares for a buying trip to India, he kindly asks his pet what gift he might like from the place that had once been the parrot's home. What the bird wants most is just to let his family and friends know that he misses them and remembers their life together. When the merchant talks with the wild Indian parrots and tells them about his pet, which now lives in a beautiful cage, the birds play a trick that eventually sets the merchant's parrot free. Both the richly detailed scenes and story reversals will draw a young audience. In an author's note, Iranian-born Javaherbin discusses her story's roots in Rumi's poem The Parrot and the Merchant. --Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
A pet parrot asks its owner, a rich Persian merchant traveling to India, to tell the parrots there about its wonderful golden cage. Upon receiving the message the parrots fall over, apparently dead--craftily sending an escape-method message to their caged mate. Despite some stereotyping in text and illustrations, this amiable tale is effective in its own obvious way. Copyright 2010 of The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Based on a poem by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi that Iranian-born Javaherbin heard from her father as a bedtime story, this adaptation offers an environmental message that will resonate with today's readers. The colorful parrot featured in Whatley's attractive, stylized illustrations has brought attention and thus good fortune to his owner, a Persian merchant. Not surprisingly, the fact that his cage is spacious and made of gold does little to assuage the parrot's sadness over being confined. When the merchant travels to India, the parrot devises a clever plan to find a way to win his freedom. The text is lengthy but straightforward and well-paced, and the acrylic paintings include amusing details and appealing textures, providing plenty to pore over. While this may never reach a wide audience, it's a great choice for adults interested in discussing philosophical issues and/or exploring diverse cultures with young listeners. Unusual and thought-provoking. (Picture book. 6-10)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.