Whisper of the East: Tales of Arabia by Franziska Meiners

Whisper of the East: Tales of Arabia by Franziska Meiners. Translation by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth, 2018. ISBN 9780735843233

81-O5xaN5zL._AC_UL436_Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Fairy tales

What did you like about the book? Six traditional fairy tales from the Middle East are presented in this handsome volume. Three-color illustrations in a graphic, folkloric style, with text in red, make the book feel special. Princes and princesses, ghouls, djinns, and mermaids populate these stories, many of which show the origins of western fairy tales. Accompanying matter adds interest: a map of the Middle East, a note about Arabic script, with a page for practicing the letters, a note about decorative patterns in the Middle East, with a page for completing a pattern, and several pages to color in. Even the endpapers are meant to be photocopied to make flash cards.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The translation (from German) is occasionally awkward.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This would be a lovely book to pour over for children ages 6 and up, or to be read aloud.

Who should buy this book? This would make a good gift. The write-in portions may be too tempting for young library patrons to ignore, so unless your peeps have great restraint, I would not recommend this for purchase by libraries.

Where would you shelve it ? 398, Fairy tales

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: March 31, 2019

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