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Buy The Phoenix of Persia

To celebrate Nowruz, otherwise known as the Persian New Year, we’re announcing our biggest, most ambitious project of the year!

The Phoenix of Persia

We’re so excited to reveal The Phoenix of Persia, a new collaborative multi-disciplinary project with an original composition by Iranian musicians, teacher resources and a programme of nationwide events.

The Book

The Phoenix of Persia by Sally Pomme Clayton is based on a story from the Shahnameh, one of the great epics of world literature by the 10th century Iranian poet Ferdowsi. It’s illustrated by Iranian artist Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif using a stunning and unique sgraffito technique.

The Phoenix of Persia is a timeless tale about families, forgiveness and what it means to be truly wise. A king awaits the birth of his son but when the child is born with white hair, he is banished to the forest. The lost child, Prince Zal, is raised by the mythical phoenix Simorgh, until his father realises the love he has lost and seeks his return.


Laudan Nooshin, Saeid Kord Mafi, Nilufar Habibian, Sally Pomme Clayton, Soosan Lolavar

The Music

The second in Tiny Owl’s One Story, Many Voices series, this story has echoes of Snow White and firebird folklore. Storytellers in Iran often told stories of the Shahnameh to the accompaniment of music. The Phoenix of Persia introduces original music composed by Iranian musicians Amir Eslami (ney), Nilufar Habibian (qanun), Saeid Kord Mafi (santur), and Arash Moradi (tanbur), set to Sally Pomme Clayton’s stunning narration of this classic tale.

You can access the original composition which is available free to download via a QR code inside the book. 


The Shahnameh Box (the teacher resources)

Contents of the Shahnameh Box – more information can be found here

Our cross-curricular teacher resources explore the Shahnameh as part of a wider introduction to the culture and heritage of Iran with activities on history, art, music, drama, geography and more. These resources complement the creation of The Shahnameh Box – available free to loan via Tower Hamlets Schools Library Service across the UK.


A Programme of Events

  • A launch performance by Sally Pomme Clayton and the musicians at the British Library on 30 May 2019, 2.30pm.
  • A programme of events with Sally Pomme Clayton and Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif will be held during the annual Pop Up Festival, a national children’s literature festival in schools.

Watch our introduction to The Phoenix of Persia to find out more!


The Phoenix of Persia is out on 1st May! Pre-order today to be one of the first to get your hands on this unique book!

The Phoenix of Persia project was led by Tiny Owl Publishing, in collaboration with City, University of London, HEC Global Learning Centre, Tower Hamlets Schools Library Services and Pop Up Projects CIC, with support from Arts Council England and the Iran Heritage Foundation.





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