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list price: $28.5
edition:Hardcover
published: Jan 2022
pages: 80
ISBN:9781592703524
publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Shahrzad and the Angry King

created by Nahid Kazemi

tagged: adaptations
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $28.5
edition:Hardcover
published: Jan 2022
pages: 80
ISBN:9781592703524
publisher: Enchanted Lion Books
Description

A rebel dreamer of a girl daydreams about her role in making the world a better place—and since dreams bleed into reality, maybe she really does.

 

Shahrzad and the Angry King is a contemporary reimagining of the Scheherazade tale, starring scooter-riding, story-loving Shahrzad. Shahrzad loves stories and looks for them everywhere. When she meets a boy and asks him to tell her his story, he recounts fleeing a country that was peaceful and happy, until its grieving king grew angry and cruel. Shahrzad can't forget the boy and his story, and so, when she sees a toy airplane in a store, she imagines herself zooming off to the boy's home country, where she confronts the king, to make him reflect on the kind of leader he really wants to be. Like Scheherazade, she tells the king story after story, but this time not to save her own life, but those of the king's people and his own. 

Because Shahrzad knows the power of the creative imagination and that the stories we tell and the words we use shape our very existence. We live and die by the sword? Not exactly, says Shahrzad. We live or die by the stories we tell and how we see, frame, and word the world. Brought to life by Iranian artist Nahid Kazemi, this bold heroine reminds us of how powerfully intertwined reality is with the stories we tell.

About the Author

Nahid Kazemi

NAHID KAZEMI is an author, illustrator and visual artist who has published more than sixty children’s books and has been nominated for both the Governor General’s Award and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. She has also taught art and has exhibited her work in Iran, France, Italy, the UK, Lebanon and Serbia. Nahid lives in Montréal, Quebec.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

An Iranian artist, Nahid Kazemi describes her work as "imagery literature." She sees art as a way of drawing the connection between words and forms. Her first book published by Enchanted Lion was Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon.

Editorial Review

★ “This rich tale is, by turns, realistic and magical. Readers journey with Shahrzad as her imagination takes flight via a toy airplane. Her encounter with the angry king hones her narrative powers while enabling the king to transcend his prolonged grief and revoke his harsh laws. The illustrations convey Shahrzad’s probing wit and a youngster’s whimsical representation of the story world, which includes a reference to One Thousand and One Nights (or ‘maybe it was just ten’). While Shahrzad wears the same dress throughout the book, her appearance varies, alternating in scale and vantage point, thereby raising an intriguing question about the protagonist’s perspective. Are we seeing her as a ‘girl’ or as a writer recalling her own childhood memories? In this manner, the overall narrative invites us to ponder the nature of time as both cyclical and linear. Clever construction and intertextual inspirations weave a thought-provoking homage to a fabled heroine and master storyteller.” Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW

 

“In this Scheherazade variation, its storyteller heroine becomes a modern child: Shahrzad, an inveterate eavesdropper who loves stories… When a boy at a park tells Shahrzad that he and his family have had to leave their country because their grief-stricken king passed laws that make life unbearable, Shahrzad imagines herself flying in a toy plane straight to the palace to confront the monarch. Art by author-illustrator Kazemi appears scribbly and informally stylized, with subtly expressive characters and spreads that are alive with texture and color. As Shahrzad dazzles the king day after day with tales that prod him to consider the consequences of his actions, Kazemi illuminates the storyteller’s gift (and the book’s own): the ability to juggle different points of view, and to use stories as visions for change.” Publishers Weekly

 

“Kazemi’s version of the legendary tale of Sheherazade starts with a girl who loves stories. In a modern setting, Shahrzad, with fuzzy black cropped hair and caterpillar-like black eyebrows against pale skin, listens for stories everywhere and then recounts them to others. When she hears about an angry king who creates cruel laws, she steps in. Through daily doses of storytelling, each one building on the last, she is able to make the king become kind, with her last story telling him of himself, the grief for his late wife that has made him mean, and his reform… Readers are invited into the secret, that this tale, and all the stories of the Arabian nights, here flattened into a child’s whimsical love of storytelling, have lessons for us all. Although readers are left wondering what was Shahrzad’s dream, and what was real, this sweet book captures the power of storytelling and the fun of creative imagination. Pastel illustrations create a calming sense at times and dynamism in other scenes.” —School Library Journal