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We’re over the moon that THREE Tiny Owl books have been featured in School Library Journal’s round up of the best fairytales and folktales of 2020! These include The Phoenix of Persia, Quill Soup and The Secret of the Tattered Shoes – all from our One Story, Many Voices series, celebrating stories from all over the world.

Read more below.

A beaut. Do not miss it.

The Phoenix of Persia

A foundling prince is adopted by a kind phoenix (or Simorgh) in this ancient Iranian tale. Jewel-toned scratchboard art also brings this story to life. Oh, this is just great! Loved the scratchboard art and I liked the story too. It has that otherworldly feel you sometimes get with true classic folktales. This book also has such strong ties to classical storytelling with its clever incorporation of music. And you know how some folktales sort of fall flat without an ending? Not this one! A beaut. Do not miss it.




One of the most vibrant books of the year!

Quill Soup

The old stone soup story gets a kick in the rear with this gorgeously rendered import from South African illustrator Dale Blankenaar and UK author Alan Durant. Blues, yellows and reds are the name of the game, accompanied by a text that stresses the lessons of the original but frames the story in an entirely different way. Here, a porcupine comes to a small village of other animals. Being a stranger they won’t even give him the time of day, let alone any food. To start the soup, he uses his own quills as a base, and the tale takes off from there. Durant’s storytelling is good but you’re going to stay for Blankenaar’s art if nothing else. I sort of went down the rabbit hole of looking into his past work and now all I want to do is find his book Rhinocephants on the Roof. Anyone want to help a gal out? One of the most vibrant books of the year.



Jackie Morris’s writing is brilliant!

The Secret of the Tattered Shoes

A weary soldier encounters a castle with a mystery. The king needs to know why his daughters’ shoes are tattered and torn every night. But is the answer worth dying for? To be perfectly honest, when I was a kid I had a copy of The Twelve Dancing Princesses illustrated by Errol le Cain that I still consider to be the best ever done. No other version has ever really captured the surreal beauty of the gold, silver, and diamond trees that the princesses pass on the way to their illicit rendezvous . . . until now. Ehsan Abdollahi is an Iranian artist who makes these fascinating choices throughout the story (luminescent mother-of-pearl petals are stand-ins for diamonds, for example). But Jackie Morris really won my heart because she taps into the question in the story that no one else ever seems to want to talk about: Why would you marry a princess who was perfectly willing to kill you without a second thought? The ending changes the original, and the story’s better for it by far. Plus, the writing itself is brilliant.

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