Arabic Folktales: The Three Princes of Serendip & Other Stories

Publisher: Walker Books

Iraqi author Rodaan Al Galidi – who lived in an asylum seekers’ centre in the Netherlands for nine years - begins this book by noting that stories are the best travellers and the most successful migrants on the planet. Folk tales, in particular, may move from country to country and change as they go, and therefore we may find that stories from across the world have much in common with each other.

In this lovely collection of Arabic folk tales, then, Al Galidi presents the reader with a collection of stories that he has retold in his own way. There’s the story of a cruel queen unfairly imprisoning her innocent maid for stealing her treasured necklace; one about an arrogant cockerel who learns that he is not the sole reason that his village wakes up in the morning, and the story about the Sheikh who transforms a happy, beautiful city into one of gloom.

The fact that each story is quite short means that the book is ideal for reading at bedtime, or for children who are independent readers but are put off long books.

Featuring twenty folk tales with stunning paper cut illustrations, this book delights with its fanciful tales of kings and treasures, but also with relatable themes of acceptance, love and the perils of arrogance.

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