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The Parrot and the Merchant

UK only

£11.99 £8.99 (hardback)


£7.99 £5.99 (paperback)



The Parrot and the Merchant is a touching exploration of love and freedom, based on a tale by Rumi.

This exquisitely illustrated story is an enchanting fable exploring how hard it is to give something you love freedom. The merchant Mah Jahan loves to keep colourful birds in cages, especially a parrot who can talk to her.

But when the parrot asks her to bring something back from her trading trip to India, Mah Jahan learns a valuable lesson about how to treat the things and people you love.

Tales by Rumi bundle

Grobblechops (paperback), The Parrot and the Merchant (paperback), The Lion Tattoo, and The Jackal Who Thought He Was A Peacock (hardbacks)



Download a free poster with beautiful artwork from this book!

Watch the book trailer

Meet the author and illustrator


Marjan Vafaeian has been creating elaborate and detailed book illustrations for 10 years. Very well received at home in Iran, her work has also won awards in international exhibitions. Marjan has also illustrated The Parrot and the Merchant, a retelling of a fable by Rumi.

Find out more about Marjan Vafaeian

Read more about The Parrot and the Merchant:
  • Read David Almond’s words about this book in the Guardian. Link
  • The Parrot and the Merchant is a USSBY Outstanding International Book!
  • The Parrot and the Merchant features in School Library Journal’s list of best translated books of 2019!
  • Looking back to the colours of Persian miniatures. A review for IBBY Link
  • Read a review by Kirkus Reviews: The Parrot and the Merchant has a memorable moral!
  • Watch: Join Mah Jahan on her journey in the Miraj app!
  • The Parrot and the Merchant teaches about true love. Link
  • Read a review: A timeless fable about love and freedom – Kidsreadtheworld
  • Watch: Emma from Taunton Library reads The Parrot and the Merchant!
  • Watch: Teacher Mrs MJ reads The Parrot and the Merchant!
  • A blog report about storytelling of this book at Belsize Library. Link
  • A review by Carousel. Link
  • Learn about Marjan Vafaeian, illustrator of this book. Link
  • A blog report of an event at Pimlico Library. Link
  • Poetic side of Tiny Owl Publishing. Link
  • The importance of introducing diversity to children. Link
  • Listen to this fantastic report of BBC Radio 4 about Rumi. Link
  • Meeting the illustrator in Tehran. A blog post. Link
  • An equal voice for ALL women! A blogpost
  • Exciting new paperbacks soon to be released
  • A reminder of ‘The Emperor’s Clothes’. A review by Laura Davies
  • blog: Exquisite illustrations of the value of love and freedom
  • Blogs here and here and here: Wonderful events at Greenwich and Hay Book Festivals
  • Video: Tiny Owl at Hay Festival
  • Video: Tiny Owl at Greenwich Book Festival
  • review by  Montessori St Nicholas
  • An article at the Biennial of Illustration Bratislava: The most influential children’s books are made for the sake of art
  • A review by Planet Picture Book: A beautiful retelling, magnificently different
  • review by Louise Gahan for Reading Zone: is it right to capture something that was born to be free?
  • The Parrot and the Merchant is back, with a new cover!
  • Read a review by Nura’s Little Library: Put a little piece of Rumi on your bookshelf!


Reading Zone

This is a beautifully illustrated, enchanting story.

David Almond, The Guardian

This is how to improve the world, story by story.

Planet Picture Book

The story is simple, but it conveys an important, timeless message.

Posted in *SALE*, All Books, Books & Gifts, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Sale, Tales by Rumi