Art, Books, Reviews

Book Review: The Parrot and the Merchant

Today’s featured book is ‘The Parrot and the Merchant‘ – a retelling of Rumi’s story set in a children’s book setting that dazzles with brilliant colors and quirky yet fascinating illustrations. Coincidentally (as I did my daily Bing today’s birthdays check), today is also Rumi’s birthday.

This story brings to memory so many folktales and fables I read as a child, including one about a talking parrot that is one of my favorite Amar Chitra Katha. It is titled ‘The Secret of the Talking Bird‘.

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The Parrot and the Merchant

Book Info

Title: The Parrot and the Merchant
Reteller/Illustrator: Marjan Vafaeian
Translator: Azita Rassi
Series: A Tale by Rumi Series
Publisher: Tiny Owl Publishing
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Multicultural Interest

Goodreads || Amazon || Book Depository
Target|| Barnes and Noble


Mah Jahan is a rich merchant who travels far and wide to trade her goods, and keeps countless colorful birds in cages. When leaving for India, she promises to bring back gifts for all her servants, and for her favorite talking parrot. All that the parrot requests is for her to go to the jungle, greet his friends and ask if they have any messages for him. But when she delivers their message, she learns an important lesson about how to treat the ones you love

My Thoughts

This is a clever tale retold so very well to fit the here and now and its audience as well. A female protagonist replaces the original merchant to lend a twist to this story. It is retold simply and sweetly while still retaining its original mood and message.

This book shows how timeless and universal stories can be. Vafaeian’s bright, gorgeous yet quirky illustrations are full of color and details and oddities you don’t want to miss. I know I want to hold the physical copy of this book to enjoy the illustrations over and over again.

A story that teaches of love , of freedom, and of letting go without being preachy; and with eye-catching illustrations is certainly one worth reading – for all ages.

Note: Some of the illustrations seem a bit gloomier or darker (sometimes a little creepy though not to the point of being scary), but they complement the text perfectly.

In Summary

A book that is a wonderful gift for yourself or others. A great addition to any library.

Rating: 5/5
Reading Level: 7 – 11 years (and above!)
Reread Level: 5/5 (those gorgeous, creative, detail-filled illustrations)

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the original digital review copy of the book. These are my honest opinions.

Related Reads

And I look forward to UBC for October….(and Inktober – for Writers and Artists to the best of my abilities)

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