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The Secret Message Hardcover – October 26, 2010

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 3–Javaherbin retells a story taken from an ancient Persian poem, “Parrot and the Merchant,” by Jalaledin Rumi. It is the tale of a wealthy merchant who keeps a parrot in his shop whose colorful feathers, singing, and talking attract many customers. When the merchant travels to India on a shopping trip, he promises to bring something home for each family member, including the parrot, whose unusual request leads to his own freedom. Colorful cartoon-style acrylic artwork shows people in traditional dress and brightly colored birds and reinforces the capably written storytelling. Whatley includes touches of humor in several of the illustrations. While this is not an essential purchase, it offers an interesting twist that could lead to a discussion of the meaning of freedom.–Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

This handsome picture book’s intriguing title will grab children, and they won’t be disappointed with the twists in both story and message. A Persian merchant keeps a talking parrot that attracts crowds to his market store, and vibrant, uncluttered acrylic paintings show the large bird locked behind bars in a golden cage. When the merchant prepares for a buying trip to India, he kindly asks his pet what gift he might like from the place that had once been the parrot’s home. What the bird wants most is just to let his family and friends know that he misses them and remembers their life together. When the merchant talks with the wild Indian parrots and tells them about his pet, which now lives in a “beautiful” cage, the birds play a trick that eventually sets the merchant's parrot free. Both the richly detailed scenes and story reversals will draw a young audience. In an author’s note, Iranian-born Javaherbin discusses her story’s roots in Rumi’s poem “The Parrot and the Merchant.” Preschool-Grade 3. --Hazel Rochman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Book CH (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423110447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423110446
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joo Y Lim on October 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WOW, The Secret Message by Mina Javaherbin is a masterpiece!!! I read it to my children for the first time tonight. Both myself and the kids were enthralled by the story of the Persian merchant and his parrot. What a treat to be able to read this story and feast our eyes on the stunning illustrations at the end of a long day. My 8 yr old son got the secret message after the first read, but my 5 year old daughter needed a second read and some hints. Overall, a great picture book for ages 4 to 10.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Heaton on April 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My sister-in-law sent this for my 4 year old daughter (who is one quarter Iranian) for Christmas, and it is now one of my favorites from among her children's picture books. My daughter absolutely loves it, which I did not expect....guess I didn't give her enough credit for her ability to appreciate stories from a genius of the likes of Rumi. Mina Javaherbin does a wonderful job of fashioning Rumi's poetry into prose palatable to children's ears, and Bruce Whatley's illustrations tell a breathtaking visual story. My daughter has another story book with Persian characters, but this one is by far the more enjoyable. And although this story can be loved by children of any background, I appreciate that she's been able to learn a little of her family's/grandfather's culture from it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Cameron on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My six year old son cannot get enough of this book. It's his bed time buddy
since he loves birds. This book takes you Persia and India and through the pictures
you can almost smell the aromas....Just fantastic!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Poopak Mohajer on January 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very good children's book with beautiful illustrations. The story is from the poet Rumi which has been retold by Mrs. Javaherbin in an easy yet exciting way for children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sarah soliman on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a magical story that we were lucky to come across at the library definitely buying it to read over and over. Well written, magical and beautifully illustrated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Crystal on April 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a retelling of a poem by Rumi. Javaherbin has told this engaging story in a way that keeps the reader guessing. The parrot wants to go back to his home country of India, but doesn't have any idea of how that could happen since his master won't release him even when he pleads. Luckily, he gets a secret message. It is one that my second grade students loved. We acted out parts of it to much laughter.
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