White Ravens: Iran
Iran (Persian) - 1995 - 170
Mohammadi, Mohammed (text)
Iravani, Sara (illus.)
Afsaneye Derakht-e-Khorma va Bozi
(The tale of the date palm and the goat)
Mashad: Astane Ghods, 1994. 16 p.
Folktale/lran - Date palm - Goat - Rivalry
This tale is one of the most ancient stories found in Persia's ancient Pahlavi language. A datepalm and a goat each compete verbally with the other to prove the superiority of his own abilities and usefulness. In the end the goat is considered the winner because he is able to move about, while the datepalm is bound to one place. The writer has taken the tale from an ancient manuscript which also appears in the background of each illustration of the book. He retells the Farsi version of the manuscript in a finely-tuned poetic prose. The illustrator enriched the text by incorporating significant elements of the story, key traditional colors and ancient motifs such as the symbol of the goat's horns in the illustrations, allowing the rea- der to become acquainted with ancient Iranian culture. (4-8) ☆
(Special Prize and Third Prize, Tehran International Biennale of Illustrators (TIBI), 1993.)
Iran (Persian) - 1997 - 250
Huda-ğū, Furūzanda (text)
Muhammaīyān, Hūšang (illus.)
(The woolen socks)
Tihrān: Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūğawānān, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). 18 p.
Poverty - Friendship - Charity
A boy from a poor family dreams of having woolen socks. He works to earn enough money and at least is able to buy them for himself but when he visits his sick and shivering friend, he sees that his friend has greater need of the socks than he does. The main theme of this realistic firstperson story is the determination and ability of the boy to reach his goal as well as the readiness to give up something and share with others. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 1997 - 251
Sādāt Turābīyān, Ma'sūma (text)
Hasan-pūr Muhsan (illus.)
(The flight of the doves)
Tihrān: Daftar-i Našir-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). 60 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Family conflict - Art - Courage
This novella focusses on the family conflicts of two young high-school girls, and in particular on their strained relations with their fathers. Encouraged by their art teacher, they discover and try to develop their talents as a painter and a calligrapher, respectively, in spite of all outside pressures and obstacles. The role of their woman art teacher both as a mentor in the classroom and as a model to follow in personal life features strongly in the narrative. This realistic story places value on maintining loyalty in difficult situations, but also on having the optimism and the courage to follow one's own path. (14+) ☆
Iran (Persian) - 1998 - 249
Samfūnī-i hammām. Mağmū`a-i dāstān barāy-i nūğawānān
(Symphonie in the bathroom)
Tihrān: Kitābhā-i Banafša, 1995 (= 1374 h.š.). 88 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Family - Poverty - Growing up
This volume contains three short stories written in the first person from the point of view of children of poor Iranian families. The first tale by a twelveyear old boy depicts the everyday life of his family, which is permeated by bitter poverty. And yet the slightly ironic, even satirical tone of this story and the others is one of humor and optimism. The focal point of the third story is a twelve-year old girl who learns to trust her own abilities to deal with life's problems. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 1998 - 250
Rahgudar, Ridā (= Muhammad Ridā Saršār)
Agar bābā bimīrad
(If father dies)
Tihrān: Daftar-i Našr-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). (14th ed.) 44 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Family - Father/Son - Illness - Responsibility
Fourteen-year old Ismaiel lives with his family in a small village far from the city. When his father falls seriously ill, Ismaiel at first only accepts this stroke of fate in his prayers. But when his friend reminds him that praying is of little value without action, they set off together in the middle of winter on a dangerous, adventure-filled mission to get the medicine his father needs. Told in the first person, this story demonstrates the responsibility each individual shares for the entire family. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 1998 - 251
Ramadānī, Muhāmmad (text)
Banī-Asadī, Muhammad 'Alī (illus.)
Bāgbān, žinirāl, wa 'atir-i gul-i surh
(The gardener, the general and the scent of roses)
Tihrān: Surūš, 1994 (= 1373 h.š.). 19 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Jealousy - Rivalry - War - Peace
A rose and its gardener take pleasure in one another day for day. The rose is the happiest rose in the world, he is the happiest gardener. But in the neighboring garden, the same story takes place every day. Jealously and rivalry between the gardeners arise, turning into hate and warfare. The roses and the gardens are heavily damaged, until nature and its healing powers is able to take its course. The men desist from their senseless war and devote themselves again to peaceable gardening. This story about the destructive power of jealousy is illustrated in remarkable pictures done in chalk and gouache. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 1999 - 247
Mīrkīyānī, Muhammad (text)
Huramīnažād, Āytā (illus.)
Tihrān: Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūǧawānān, 1997 (= 1376 h.š.).  p.
Pigeon breeding - Obedience - Freedom
When a pigeon is no longer willing to demonstrate its flying abilities, its impatient owner begins to treat it harshly. Fearing for its own well-being, it follows the breeder's wishes and is once again spoiled with better bird feed. But one day the bird lets an ordinary street pigeon talk it into escaping. It joins its fellow pigeons, who live a poor, but free and independent life. At first the pigeon has difficulties adapting to its new circumstances, before becoming convinced of their benefits. This parable about corruptibility and convenience and the value of freedom, which is preferable to life in a golden cage, is illustrated with pictures in subdued tones of blue, yellow and brown. (6+)
Special Mention - Iran (Persian) - 1999 - 248
Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang
(The sweet jam)
Tihrān: Intišārāt-i Muʻīn, 1998 (= 1376 h.š.). 92 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Indifference - Persistence - Civil courage
Evidently no one feels concerned that the jar tops of one jam and marmalade producer do not screw on tightly. Not only because of this technical defect, but also incensed at the apathy of fellow citizens, a twelve-year old pupil decides to sue the production company even against his mother's will. The company makes an investigation, corrects the production error and rewards the boy for his civic involvement. This entertaining story takes issue with the indifference of so many people who find it easier to accept bad or inadequate conditions out of pure laziness and ignorance or for fear of causing trouble for themselves. (12+)
Special Mention - Iran (Persian) - 1999 - 249
Šaʻbānī, Asadallāh (text)
Husrawī, Nasrīn (illus.)
Pūlak-i māh. Maǧmūʻa-i ši'ar
(The moon's scale)
Tihrān: Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūǧawānān, 1996 (= 1375 h.š.).  p.
(In Arabic letters)
This is an illustrated selection of ten poems for children by Asadallāh Ša'bānī. Each poem is accompanied by a full-page, dreamy color illustration. (6+)
Iran (Persian) - 2000 - 245
Fāntasī-i šalgam wa 'aql
(The fantasy of turnip and reason)
Tihrān: Kitāb-i Maryam (wābasta bi Našr-i Markaz), 1998 (= 1377 h.š.). 39 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Imagination - Snowman - Wordplay
A young girl is quite excited about playing in the snow. In her imagination she builds a snowman who longs to have a brain and use his mind. Then the girl tries to teach him two terms, but at first she confuses two similarly sounding words - the Persian terms for »turnip« and »mind«. This misunderstanding is the starting point of a very imaginative, humorous-naive story. (7+)
Iran (Persian) - 2000 - 246
Yūsufī, Nāsir (adapt.)
Zamānī, Mihrān (illus.)
(The girl with the half-moon on her forehead)
Tihrān: Našr-i Ufuq, 1997 (= 1376 h.š.). 23 p.
(In Arabic letters)
Beauty - Envy
This is a re-telling of an old and still very popular Persian folk tale whose origins can no longer be traced completely. A young girl with glowing beauty is treated poorly by her step-mother and half-sisters. As a reward for her good deeds an old sorceress places a shining half-moon on her forehead that emphasizes her beauty even more. The stylized illustrations make use of a richly ornamental, decorative style in subtle, pastel tones. Both the background and the predominant tones are warm brown. (4+)
Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 244
Hasanbaigī, Ibrāhīm (text)
Mahalātī, Parwīz (illus.)
’Gunca bar qālī
(Knotting a blossom into the pond)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwaris-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Naugawānān, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.).  p.
Village - Rural life - Knitting carpets - Father - Daughter
This story is set in the Turkmanian grasslands and vividly describes the reality of rural life in this remote region of Iran. The delicate beauty of a rose her father brought her arouses Safura's admiration. To please her father, the young girl wants to immortalise the rose: she decides to knot him a carpet with the image of the rose. A race against time begins between the waning rose and the determined girl, inspired by her vision. The text is complemented by many mixed-media illustrations, using line drawings and watercolours. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 245
Kaimarām, Manūcihr (text)
Qizilbāš, Šīrīn (illus.)
Gurba-i sif īd-i pašmālū
(The white, wooly cat)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 30 p.
Cat - Bird - Friendship - Rejection
A young cat yearns for friendship with the birds in the garden. She wants to fly like them – and with the help of an angel she really does! But still, the birds will not accept her as their friend. Told in a suitable form for children, this fable-like story exemplifies two contrary forces: the desire to break down boundaries and the restrictions resulting from these boundaries. (6+)
Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 246
Mīr Kīyānī, Muhammad (text)
Saliwātīyān, Muhammad Husain (illus.)
(The pot of honey)
Tihrān : Mu‘assas-i Farhangī wa Intišārāt-i Mihrāb-i, 1999 (= 1378 h.š.). 71 p.
(Rūzī būd, rūzī nabūd ; 1)
Iran - Folktale
In this anthology, like in in two following volumes of the series, the author has assembled a number of stories that can give an impression of the diversity of his country's orally transmitted folk literature. This anthology is about the everyday life of the simple folk, their dreams and disappointments, their joys and griefs. The didactic stories, taken from collections of well-known Iranian narrators, have been adapted for children. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 247
Muhammadī, Muhammad Hādī
(The dreamed cows)
Tihrān : Intišārāt-i Hāna-i Adabīyāt, 1999 (= 1376 h.š.). 224 p.
Village - Emigration to the cities - City life - Child labour - Poverty - Dream - Imagination
Struck by poverty, 10-year-old Duna's family leaves the village. They are off to the metropolis of Teheran to find a better future. Reality is harsh in the immigrants' quarters, surrounding the city like a hungry belt, continually expanding further into the outskirts. To survive, Duna and the rest of his family have to work in a brick-factory. Duna's imagination and dreams, that supported his spirits during all hardships, are slowly sapped by the brutality of their merciless everday life. This compelling novel witnesses the gradual destruction of a childhood. It is gloomy and heavy; however, the language is poetic, especially in the boy's dream sequences. (13+)
Iran (Persian) - 2001 - 248
Istgāh-i Mīr : (bar mīgardīm wa gul-i sitārah mīčīnīm)
(Space station Mir)
Tihrān : Našr-i Āyīna-i Ātār, 1999 (= 1376 h.š.). 104 p.
Space-travel - Mir <space station> - Peace - International understanding
Together with other young adults from different nations, Abtin, a young man from Iran is invited to Moscow to receive training as a visiting cosmonaut. They all travel to the space station Mir. Looking down upon the earth, they understand the uniqueness of their planet, but also the threat posed by environmental pollution. They also realise that they can no longer make out any national boundaries – the world is one and undivided from up here. This experience arouses the desire for peace and international understanding in these young people. The author combines the message of her story with a well-researched portrayal of life on board of the space station Mir. (10+) ☆
(Unesco Prize for Children's Literature in the Service of Tolerance; 2001)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 242
Mitl-i dasthā-i mādaram : mağmū‘a-i dastān
(Like my mother's hands)
Tihrān : Našr-i Ufuq, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.). 63 p.
Iran – Youth – Everyday life – Love – Drug abuse
This volume contains three realistic stories which discuss everyday experiences, as well as dreams and wishes of teenagers in Iran. Unusual, at least in the context of Iranian youth literature, is the openmindedness evident in the text and the willingness to deal with difficult topics. One tale, for example, tackles the abuse of drugs, a theme which is an unpleasant and topical problem in Iran, too. The protagonist of the title story, on the other hand, is a pupil at the beginning of puberty who does not get along with his mother, nor with the world in general. He falls in love with his teacher, of all people, simply because she gives him the attention he needs but does not receive from others. The stories are told in a realistic, sometimes almost sober language. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 243
Ha'if, Bahram (text/illus.)
(The discussion of the colours)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nauğawānān, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 24 p.
Colour – Loneliness – Dialogue – Joy
In a simple and comprehensible style, the author tells a symbolic tale about loneliness and how it can be overcome if people approach each other and communicate. He praises the dialogue as a unifying force which helps to form communities. This tale's protagonists are the basic colours. They all live alone, isolated from each other, because each of them only speaks its own language. Therefore, the world remains monochrome and monotonous. Only when they start to communicate and mix with each other, does the world turn into a cheerful vivacious place. The well-known Iranian artist has created suggestive illustrations, painted in soft, glowing colours, that accompany the concise text. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 244
Ğādūgarān-i sarzamīn-i bīsāya
(The wizards from the land without shadows)
Tihrān : Kitābhā-i Banafša, 1999 (= 1376 h.š.). (2 vols.) 167 p.; 188 p.
(Rumān-i nauğawānān ; 18,  and )
ISBN 964-417-272-8; 964-417-273-6
Boy – Magic – Apprentice
The worldwide success of Harry Potter and the resulting boom of fantasy literature have also influenced the Iranian children's literature scene, as is evident from this two-volume novel. Twelve-yearold Rana, who lives with his grandmother, desperately wants to attend a magical school. Together with his friends he starts an apprenticeship as a wizard. After finishing it, they set off on a long journey around the magic world, on which they solve many problems and encounter several adventures. This gripping and entertaining novel, which also borrows some motifs from Lewis Carroll's »Alice's Adventures in Wonderland«, successfully connects the realistic world and the fairytale-like world of fantasy. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 245
Duẖtar-i čūbī : 12 afsāna az Turkamān Ṣahrā
(The wooden girl : twelve Turkmen folktales)
Tihrān : Kitābhā-i Banafša, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 120 p.
(Afsānahā ; 5)
The Turkmen people are a powerful ethnic minority in Iran. This ancient nomadic people, with its own culture and language, possesses a rich variety of folktales, handed down orally. For this volume, the author has collected twelve well-known folktales and retold them in Persian. They often focus on magic and the transformation of animals into human beings. And so does the tale, »The wooden girl«, which has lent its title to this collection: Against his father's will, the son of a fisherman frees a golden fish. In return for this favour, the fish promises to help him one day – in the form of a young man – when the boy is in a difficult situation. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 246
Raḥmāndūst, Muṣṭafā (text)
Hudayi, ‘Alī (illus.)
(Nuhudi is born)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.).  p.
Fairytale – Wish for a child
This popular Persian fairytale has some similarities with the Grimm Brothers' »Der Däumling« (»Tom Thumb«). A childless couple has long been wishing for a child but without success so far. One day, while cooking chick pea soup, the woman once again utters her dearest wish: She pleads for a child and be it as small as a chick pea – and all of a sudden her wish is granted. A small boy, the size of a chick pea, shouts at her: »Here I am. I am your son!« Humorous full-page colour illustrations, which make each of the fairy tale's steps easily understandable to small children, accompany the text. (4+)
Iran (Persian) - 2002 - 247
Šāhābādī, Hamīd Riḍā (text)
Iqbālī, Parwīz (illus.)
Afsāna-i tīrandāz-i ğawān
(The legend of the young archer)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nauğawānān, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 40 p.
Legend – Archer – Apprentice – Perfection – Ambition – Modesty
At an archer's contest, young Ra‘d is so fascinated, that he immediately starts an apprenticeship with a wise old master archer. After three years, he perfectly masters the bow. Without any effort, he would be able to win an important competition, but suddenly his ambition vanishes and the possible triumph seems trivial to him. Therefore, he stops the contest and leaves the victory to his opponent. Maturity and the ability to concentrate, qualities he learned from his master, matter more to him than fame. With this interesting literary legend about the assessment of human values, the author offers an insight into the old oriental world. Traditional Iranian illustrations perfectly complement the text. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 242
Daryānīyān, Sulmāz (text/illus.)
šāyad ism-i man ...
(Maybe, my name ...)
Tihrān : Haud-i Nuqra, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.).  p.
Children’s poetry – Child – Everyday life
This book’s simple poems for children deal with questions concerning the life of Iranian children. Expressed and answered from a young girl’s first person point-of-view, they address social and moral issues which children come across in their everyday life. Poverty, for example, is presented through the encounter with a girl sitting on the street with her empty bowl. Very unusual and original – not only for the literary production in Iran – is the graphic design of the book: Fine line-drawings on brownish paper, evoking the impression of quick sketches in a notebook, accompany the text in an admirable manner. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 243
Farāmarz Ibn-Hudādād Arraǧānī (original text)
Fatāhī, Husain (adapt.)
Tihrān : Intišāarāat-i Qadyānī, 2000 (= 1379 h.š.). 220 p., 157 p.
(Qissahā-i dīlnišīn-i adab-i pārsī ; ...) (Nasl-i imrūz)
Prince – Princess – Adventure – Rescue
This adolescent novel in two volumes is a excellent adaptation of the well-known Persian classic about the hero Samak Ayyar, which dates back all the way to the 12th century. Samak Ayyar serves the prince Hūršīd šāh, who falls in love with the daughter of the Chinese Emperor. When the prince sets out to save his beloved from various dangers, Samak Ayyar is at his side as a loyal consultant, who controls the situation from the background. The adventure story narrates the varied episodes and wonderful events of the travels in a gripping and entertaining way. At the same time, the reader will gain deep insight into life in medieval Orient. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 244
Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang
Tanūr wa dāstānhā-i dīgar
(The bread and other tales)
Tihrān : Intišārāt-i Mu ‘īn-Parwīn, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.). 156 p.
Country living – Village – Tradition – Modernity
In the 16 tales of this volume, the author describes life in the Iranian countryside. Written in a realistic and impressive voice, these everyday-life stories present the unity and uniformity, the traditions, and the restricted view of the village people; yet, at the same time, they show the younger people’s wishes and attempts at breaking the traditional rules and changing them. One tale, for example, is about Mariam, who lives in poverty with her family in a remote village. When her mother is taken ill and has to be treated in town, Mariam asks a neighbour to explain to her how to bake bread. By asking someone outside the family for help, she wilfully breaks one of the village’s unwritten laws for very pragmatic and human reasons. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 245
Salīmī, Mustafā (text)
Banī Asadi, Muhammad ‘Alī (illus.)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i, 2002 (= 1381 h.š.).  p.
Boy – Football – Betrayal – Conscience – Career
Naser is about twelve years old and the successful goalkeeper of his football team. One evening, just before an important final match, Ashgar, a member of the opposing football team, pays him a surprise visit. If Naser ensures that the members of the other team leave the field as winners, he promises to make sure that the boy can join the famous club. Not wanting to betray his own team, Naser is thrown into a terrible moral conflict. He feels torn between his conscience and the wish to get one of the rare and popular positions with the opposing team. This gripping tale shows how, eventually, the boy’s faithfulness and love for his friends win over his ambition. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2003 - 246
Yūsufī, Muhammad Ridā (text)
Mumbīnī, Farzana (illus.)
Duhtarī mutiwalid mīšawad
(Born as a girl)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2001 (= 1380 h.š.). 166 p.
Girl – Gender role – Prejudice – Assertiveness
This story is written from a very small girl’s pointof- view. As the third daughter, she is not welcome in the family. She is given the name Farokh, which can be used for boys and girls alike. Farokh, who senses her father’s rejection, tries to win his love by adopting a behaviour deemed typical for a boy – but in vain. Father and grandfather absolutely want to have a son and heir to keep the family tradition alive. The author describes this serious problem in a humorous language. With simple sympathetic sentences, he points out the little protagonist’s feelings and thoughts. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 246
Husaini, Muhammad Hasan (text)
Rahmatī âwīnī, Marīam (illus.)
(The last grandfather)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdaksmall-a- macronn wa Nauǧawānān, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 68 p.
Grandson – Grandfather – Death – Grief – Acceptance
Hamid loves his grandfather dearly. Especially after the grandmother’s death, a close relationship develops between the two. The boy understands his grandfather’s sadness and loneliness and spends a lot of time with him. When the other family members have to listen to the old man’s childhood memories for the umpteenth time, they complain about the endless repetition. Hamid is the only one who is still interested in the stories of his grandfather, to whom he has to say a last goodbye one day. With meticulous observation and a natural empathy for portraying the feelings of people, this book describes how a child deals with old age and the death of a beloved person. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 247
Kišāwarzī Āzād, Marǧān (text)
Šafī ‘ī, Faršīd (illus.)
Gīr az hūd hī? kas nabūd
(No one has been alone except for God)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.).  p.
Man – Woman – Love – God
Once upon a time, there was a lonely man. Once upon a time, there was a lonely woman. The woman was sadly gazing at the flowing river. The man was gazing equally sadly at the sky. That’s the beginning of the story of Man and Woman and Love – and of God. Marğān Kišāwarzī Āzsmall-a- macrond recounts this old tale in a language full of simplicity, poetry, and great literary merit. The hand-written text is harmoniously integrated into the expressive illustrations dominated by radiant tones of red. The illustrations both reflect the tale’s archaic character and interpret them from a modern perspective. (6+)
Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 248
Lutfallāh, Dāwūd (text)
Hā´if, Bahram (illus.)
Paranda wa fāl
(The bird and the prophecy)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdaksmall-a- macronn wa Nauğawānān, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.).  p.
Poetry – Wish – Everyday life – Adolescence
This volume contains 15 modern poems that use fantasy and dreams to deal with topics that are important to teenagers. The first poem, The bird and the prophecy, lends its title to the whole book. It is inspired by the traditional wishing game with a bird in a cage and by The Divan, the famous poetry collection written by the renowned Persian poet Hāfez. The poetic language and the handwritten text form a harmonious entity with the pictures of well-known illustrator Bahram Ha´if that impressively reflect the fantasy world of the poems. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2004 - 249
Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang (text)
Rustamī, Ardišīr (illus.)
Na tar wa na hušk
(Neither damp nor dry)
Tihrān : Mu ‘īn, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 107 p.
Literary fairy tale – Princess – Hummingbird – Love – Faithfulness
Princess Golpar and a hummingbird have fallen in love with each other. When the bird asks for Golpar’s hand in marriage, however, the king tries to prevent this by demanding that he complete a task first: He is to bring the king a piece of wood that is neither damp nor dry, neither straight nor bent. Thus begins an adventurous story at the end of which the bird has passed the test but lost his beloved to someone else. With a great deal of skill and creativity, the author combines fantasy world and real world and employs modern language – a fact that is rather untypical for a fairy tale. Despite the bitter and pitiable fate of the bird, a sometimes humorous sometimes sober tone resonates in the text. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2005 - 246
Akbarpūr, Ahmad (text)
Bahrāmī, Hamīd (illus.)
Man nūkar-i bābā nīstam!
(I am not Father’s servant!)
Tihrān : Našr-i Ufuq, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 104 p.
(Rumān-i naugawān ; 12)
Family – Father – Son – Social role – Family conflict
The first-person narrator, one of many sons of a family living in rural Iran, wants to be his father’s favourite child. Thus, the boy does his best to please the father, and his brothers soon start calling him »father’s servant«. His unlimited love – or obedience – even makes him climb down into the stinking toilet shaft because the father accidentally dropped a bundle of banknotes down there. He doesn’t have to wait long for his siblings’ mockery. In a humorous and exaggerated way, the author closely examines the family routine and the conflicts that may result from a traditional role model characteristic of a patriarchal system. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2005 - 247
Fūladwand, Marğān (adapt.)
Pārsānižād, Kūruš (illus.)
Rustam wa Suhrāb : bargirfta az Šāhnāma-i Firdausī
(Rustam and Suhrāb)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdaksmallān wa Naugawānān, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 42 p.
Persian – Verse epic – Father – Son – Meeting again – Fight
This book is a retelling of one of the saddest and most tragic tales from »Shahnameh« (Book of Kings), the famous epic by Abul-Qasem Ferdouis (940-1020). It tells the story of how a father and his long lost son meet again. Since neither of the two recognises the other, the father kills his son in a fight. For this book, the original text was re-written in a simple language appropriate for young readers. What sets it apart are the unusual illustrations in the style of the popular traditional Iranian teahouse paintings, i.e. murals that depicted both religious and secular epics. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2005 - 248
Ibad, Tahira (text)
Nāmwar, ‘Alī (illus.)
H̲̱āniwāda’-i āqāī čarẖišī
(The Tsharkheshi family)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Naugawānān, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 112 p.
City – Family – Everyday life
A schoolboy describes the fairly chaotic daily routine of his family who live in metropolitan Teheran. The father, in particular, keeps the family on the go. Ever since he has gone bald, he is bursting with creative ideas. His talent to fill others with enthusiasm makes it easy for him to persuade them to put his (sometimes very weird) ideas into practice. This book is an excellent example for a new tone in Iranian children’s literature that is more realistic and characterised by modern everyday language. Witty, scrawly black-and-white drawings perfectly match the pace and the humour of the story. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2005 - 249
Rahmāndūst, Mustafā (text)
Nāmwar, ‘Alī (illus.)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.).  p.
Teenager – Everyday life – Love – Poetry
These seven poems focus on the life of modern teenagers. The tension between the ordinary everyday issues depicted and the condensed, highly lyrical language employed by the well-known author holds a special attraction. Imagination and poetry win over reality and take the reader into another world. Thus, common objects, such as a computer or a teacup, are given additional meanings. The contemporary illustrations – delicate, sketchy line drawings that are coloured in with warm shades – perfectly complement the poems. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 245
Fūlādwand, Marğān (text)
Nīkānpūr, Akbar (illus.)
(The friendly moon)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Naugawānān, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 22 p.
Night Moon – Child – Friendship
In former times, people in the Middle East used to sleep on the flat roofs of their houses because of the stifling heat inside. They would enjoy the refreshing breeze and watch the moon and the stars far up in the night sky. This picture book recalls this tradition. Despite their differences, the moon, who feels lonely and forgotten without the people watching him at night, and a boy, who looks out of his bedroom window up into the sky, become very close friends and this friendship makes them both happy. The imaginative illustrations painted primarily in shades of blue perfectly mirror the dreamlike night atmosphere of this simple tale. (5+)
Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 246
Hānīyān, Ğamšīd (text)
Muhtāğ, ‘Alī Asġar (illus.)
Qalb-i zībā-i Bābūr
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nauğawānān, 2004 (= 1382 h.š.). 79 p.
City Countryside – Reality – Fiction – Love
A boy from Teheran travels to a little village in Southern Iran. There, far from the big cities, he hears a tale about a poor young man who is married to the daughter of a rich merchant. When his beloved wife asks him to search for a rare pearl, he dives into the sea and drowns. Years later, their son Babur eventually retrieves the pearl from the bottom of the sea but pays a high price: he loses his voice forever. As the boy from Teheran is writing down this tale, he compares the Persian storytelling traditions with the international children’s classics, with which he is also familiar, such as Alice, Oliver Twist, or Pinocchio. Thus, he cleverly links the contrasting elements in this book reality and fiction as well as Orient and Occident. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 247
Maulawī, Ğāl-ad-Dīn (text)
Gul Muhammadī, Fīrūza (illus.)
Fīl dar hāna-i tārīk
(The elephant in the dark house)
Tihrān : Našr-i Ufuq, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.).  p.
Darkness Sensory perception – Ignorance
The elephant in the dark house is an ancient Oriental tale, which readers worldwide are familiar with through various versions. This retelling by the poet Maulawi, who lived 800 years ago and is one of the classic authors of Persian literature, is followed by three other, even older versions. It’s a story about ignorance, blindness, and narrow-mindedness. Through different doors, several people enter a dark room with an elephant inside. Since each of them can only touch a small part of the huge animal, they pour forth the most daring speculations about what it is they are faced with. Large double-spread pictures of delicate lines and warm, glowing colours, aptly illustrate the subtle, philosophical tone of the story. (8+)
Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 248
Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang
Šumā ka ġarība nīstīd
(You’re not strangers)
Tihrān : Našr-i Mu‘īn, 2005 (= 1384 h.š.). 319 p.
Childhood memories Murādī Kirmānī, Hūšang – Writer
Although Hooscho leads a protected life at his grandparents’ home in the countryside, he dreams of living in the city. When he is thirteen, his grandparents die and he moves to the nearby town of Kerman, yet contrary to what he expected – he ends up in an orphanage. His passion for reading and writing makes him a success at school, but after his final exams, he feels that Kerman is also too small for him. Finally, in Teheran, his dream of becoming a writer comes true. Husang Muradi (b. 1944) is one of the most renowned contemporary Iranian children’s book writers. In this book, the award-winning author – who is famous for his sharp eye for teenagers’ social problems – tells the story of his own life. The first-person narration will impress readers with its beautiful language and its realistic descriptions. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2006 - 249
Yūsufī, Muhammad Ridā (text)
Nāmwar, ‘Alī (illus.)
(Afsahne’s fairy tale)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 84 p.
Child Book – Fairy tale – Storytelling – Reading
Inspired by a key that was left to her by her late uncle, Afsahne remembers the tales he used to tell her. One day at a family party, when she is sitting alone in her grandfather’s library, the girl sinks into a deep sleep. The room turns into a castle built entirely from books and all the fairy tale characters familiar to her step out of the building asking her to join them in their search for an old storyteller. Very cleverly, the author weaves elements of old Oriental tales into the narrative about Afsahne. The book is an imaginative plea to arouse children’s interest in reading and storytelling. The brown line drawings present ancient fairy tale motifs in a lively contemporary form. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 245
Gardišī dar bāġ-i kūdakān : 106 tarḥ az kūdakān
(A walk in the children’s garden : 106 children’s drawings)
Tihrān : Našr-i Ādarbihišt, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 105 p.
Children’s drawing – Poet
Drawings created by children between the ages of three and twelve inspired the poet Hanibal Alkhas to write this book. The poems – one for each of the 106 drawings – deal with a great variety of topics, both ordinary events and fantastical adventures. While some are full of humour, others are more serious. It is astonishing how skilfully the author captures moments and moods in his short, almost fragmentary poems. Thus, he accompanies the picture of an everyday scene at home drawn by seven-year-old Kisawarz with the simple verse: »On my beautiful table, I arrange a pot of fragrant flowers, a big apple, and a jug of fresh water, in case you might come.« (6+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 246
Dīyāī, Muḥammad Rafī’ (text/illus.)
(A person who is somehow different)
Tihrān : Kitāb-i Čarhfalak, 2003 (= 1382 h.š.). 48 p.
(Maǧmū’a-i dāstānhāī kūtāh-i ṭanz; 1)
Caricaturist Muhammad Rafi Diyai tells a young man’s story from birth to adulthood inspired by his own adventures and experiences. The 54 ultra-short stories of these two volumes present miniature scenes from the first-person narrator’s life. The texts stand out for their trenchant description of everyday events that often reveal curiously bizarre things; such as when the protagonist relates how a pot plant that he wanted to rid of lice eventually dies because of his love of animals (not of lice, mind you, but of lice-eating ladybirds). Diyai’s caricature-like black-and-white drawings perfectly complement the sprightly, sketchy texts. (10+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 247
Ǧūzdānī, ‘Udrâ (text)
Taḥwīlī, Nāzlī (illus.)
Ism-i man Mānīyā ast
(Mein Name ist Maniya)
Tihrān : Haudi-Nuqra, 2004 (= 1383 h.š.). 47 p.
Girl – Everyday life – Imaginary world
Maniya travels between two worlds. Again and again, the young girl escapes from her real life into a carefree, comforting imaginary world. In her day-dreams, Maniya uses her imagination to fight against the restrictions that others impose on her. In the ten short stories of this small book, the line between reality and the imagined world is blurred. For example, when Maniya and her mother are sitting at the hairdresser’s, where she is given a haircut against her will, the girl looks into the mirror and sees her hair quickly grow again until it is even longer than before! The simple language of the easily comprehensible tales is aptly translated into sketchy line drawings that are sparsely coloured in delicate, mainly green water colours. (5+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 248
Kākāwand, Kāmbīz (text/illus.)
Tihrān : Šabāwīz, 2006 (= 1385 h.š.). 30 p.
Fox – Tail – Loss – Trust – Love
A fox who plans to feed his stomach in the chicken coop loses his tail in a fight with the guard dog. Completely devastated, the animal withdraws from the world until, one day, a beautiful vixen persuades him to accompany her on another chicken hunt. The vixen’s presence comforts him and rekindles his interest in life. Readers should allow for some extra time to study the double-page illustrations of this fable-like animal tale. The illustrator has composed two-dimensional pictures teeming with tiny figures and lots of details on backgrounds in mostly green shades. From above and from a great distance, readers will admire a world of almost abstract animals, plants, buildings, and landscape and discover a truly original play with shapes and colours. (6+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 249
Sipihrī, Suhrāb (text)
Nūǧūmī, Nīkzād (illus.)
Ṣidā-i pā-i āb
(The sound of the water’s course)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūǧawānān, 2005 (= 1384 h.š.). 23 p.
Poetry – Nature – Love of nature
The long poem »Ṣidā-i pā-i āb« was originally published in the well-known Iranian poet’s work entitled »8 kitab« (Eight books). One feature typical for Sipihrī’s style is the simplicity and clarity of the linguistic images that he creates. At the same time, however, his texts are complex, and their true depth may not be immediately understandable to readers because of their philosophical ideas. That is also true for this poem, in which the author’s love for nature is palpable. This edition for young readers contains symbolic pictures illustrated in warm watercolours that perfectly match the typography of the artistically designed verses. (12+)
Iran (Persian) - 2007 - 250
Tūzandaǧānī, Ǧa’far (text)
Ṣafī Hānī, Farhād (illus.)
Čirā daryā ‘aṣabānī šud?
(Why is the sea furious?)
Tihrān : Kānūn-i Parwariš-i Fikrī-i Kūdakān wa Nūǧawānān, 2006 (= 1385 h.š.). 77 p.
Sea – Pollution – Environmental protection – Death
The protagonist of this tale is a writer in a coastal town that has lately been suffering under the destructive forces of the sea. By talking to the town people, who offer a multitude of possible explanations, the writer slowly cottons on to the real reason behind the events. The mayor, for example, feels responsible because he had authorised and arranged the building of a theme park at the beach whereas an old fisherman is convinced that the sea is furious and will only be placated by repentance. In the end, it becomes evident that the ocean is indeed hurt and revengeful because it is polluted by chemical industrial plants. In this unusual book, the topic of environmental pollution is intertwined with a realistic story and accompanied by pictures with a sinister touch. (7+)