Ages 4-8 ~ Wisdom Tales Press
My thoughts: In this re-telling of a Spanish tale, the young child encounters mixed cultures and learning to get along with others in an artistic rendering of a well-told story. A good read-to-me story or read-to-myself book, the text is large enough for young readers and the story flows in a gentle, easy style that entertains and engages the reader.
The illustrations of Durga Yael Bernhard are simple, yet intricate in colors soft but strongly invoking cultures they represent. The differences between the boys is shown quite distinctly by their head wear. The thick walls and arched doorways, abstract geometric designs, and colors represent well the Morrish designs of Medieval Spain. All this speaks of the lives of the wealthy in Spain during medieval times. The boyish thoughts of Samuel for keeping Hamza from saying mean things to him in the future are quite humorously pictured.
The tale begins with Samuel, son of the grand vizier, strolling along and totally engrossed in his own thoughts when he bumps into Hamza, the tax collector's son. Irate, Hamza verbally lashes out at Samuel..... and it doesn't end there. Accidents. Saying sorry. Things happen and apologies don't help. Hamza is upset!
Samuel's father helps him by encouraging him to do something (not telling him what that something was) to help Hamza never say a mean word again.
This story is inspired by the real-life actions of the Jewish poet Samuel Ha-Nagid, who was also a vizier, the highest royal advisor in eleventh- century Muslim Spain.
The implications of this story can be far reaching and are certainly compelling. I think this would be a very good addition to elementary class libraries, school and public libraries everywhere.
Begins October 4
ENDS October 25 @ 12:01 a.m. ET
Open to USA addresses only.a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Wisdom Tales Press to facilitate this review. These are my own opinions and I was not compelled to give a positive review. Winner's copy will be graciously sent directly to the winner by Wisdom Tales Press.