The books are “The Grand Wizard and the Queen of Color Island” written by Jamshid Khanian and “Simorgh, a Story from Attar Neyshaburi’s Mantiq at-Tayr (Conference of the Birds)” rewritten by Marjan Fuladvand and illustrated by Mohammad Barangi.

“I’ll Sow My Hands in the Garden” written by Forugh Farrokhzad and illustrated by Hoda Haddadi and “What a Brilliant Idea” written and illustrated by Narjes Mohammadi are also included.

Each year the language specialists (Lektoren) at the International Youth Library in Munich select newly published books from around the world that they consider to be especially noteworthy. 

This list of books is compiled into the annual White Ravens Catalogue, which is published by the International Youth Library in Munich.

Rahi’s mother informs him one day that he must go and work for their neighbor, the artist Ms. Parsa, to sit for his portrait in “The Grand Wizard and the Queen of Color Island”. 

In return, Ms. Parsa will buy him his dream bicycle. The atmosphere of her house feels odd to him. Step by step, Rahi figures out that there once was a boy living in this house, whose room is still intact, including his clothes. Gradually, the readers put the pieces of the puzzle together and find out that Ms. Parsa’s son, Amir Taha, drowned in the sea and that the resemblance between Amir Taha and Rahi is uncanny. 

Simorgh, a bird in Iranian mythology and literature, plays a significant role in some Persian classics, such as Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh and the story of Mantiq at-Tayr. 

In Attar’s parable-like poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their sovereign. The hoopoe, wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh. At the end of the long journey, only thirty birds remain. They realize that they themselves are the ruler they seek.

Farrokhzad was a controversial modernist poet. The book “I’ll Sow My Hands in the Garden” anthologizes and illustrates those parts of her poetry that are more intelligible and linguistically less intricate and thus well-suited for a young adult readership. This is a first step in making her poetry known to a new generation of adolescent readers. 

“What a Brilliant Idea” is about Turnip who is unhappy with his big ears. He decides to wear a mask over his head to hide them. Everyone is amazed by his brilliant idea and decides to do the same. They’re all hiding something they dislike about themselves, yet now no one is distinguishable from anyone else. This outcome makes Turnip wonder: Was this really a good idea? He is not so sure anymore.

Source: Tehran Times