Author: Mahni Tazhibi
Illustrator: Mahni Tazhibi
Translator: Azita Rassi
Reading age: Under 5’s (and 6 – 8 as a stimulus for philosophical enquiry)
This story will be familiar to many young readers as it also features amongst Aesop’s fables. The exact origins of tales like this are often hard to pinpoint, as they evoke such strong and constant themes irrespective of time and place and therefore crop up in much global folklore and mythology. This particular translation was first published in Persian in 2012 and was published in English by Tiny Owl in 2015. The illustrations are bright and will appeal to a young audience, with references on each page which relate directly to the text (for example the image of the wolf in the young boy’s mind) which will help readers of all abilities to access this story. The effect of the imagery is like that of a 3D pop-up and so there would be amble opportunity to extend to an arts lesson and to recreate some of the illustrations within the story.
The tale has stood the test of time thanks to its classic morality issue of what may happen if we tell too many lies – that those around us may stop trusting what we say and therefore reacting in the ways we expect. This is a great point for discussion, as well as recognising the commonality in the themes within the story that have ensured it has cropped up again and again from cultures across the world. There is also an interesting point that could be raised with children about the impact of the word ‘wolf’ throughout the story. As the boy uses this word repeatedly, it loses its original ‘meaning’ – for older years this could be followed up with a look at other words where this has happened and how language evolves over time according to context and use.
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More to read about this book:
- Stories join us together. A review by IBBYLINK. Link
- A review by Natari. Link
- A review by Books for Keeps. Link
- A life lesson through a story. A blog post. Link
- Let’s look at the details. A review. Link
- A creation of cultural bridge. An interview with the translator of the book. Link
- A review by Over 40 and a mum to one’s blog. Link
- A review by That’s Books and Entertainment. link