Born in 14th century Morocco, Ibn Battuta embarked on a journey at the young age of 21 that took 29 years to complete and spanned more than three times the equatorial circumference of the Earth (more than 75,000 miles), besting the distance traveled by his near-contemporary Marco Polo. Author and illustrator James Rumford, himself a world traveler, captures Ibn Battuta’s incredible journey in this masterful children’s book for ages 9 to 12.
Palestinian folklorists Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana first captured the ageless folktale of “Tunjur Tunjur” in their invaluable collection Speak, Bird, Speak Again: Palestinian Arab Folktales . Based on their recording of the story as told by Fatme Abdel Qader, of Arrabe, Galilee, and their own research, Muhawi and Kanaana’s version has gritty elements akin to the darker imaginations of the Brothers Grimm fairytales and gives a glimpse into Palestine’s earthy oral traditions.
Alrawi’s expertly crafted narrative voice in The Mouse Who Saved Egypt conjures a timeless atmosphere as he tells the story of a young prince who rescues a mouse caught in a thorn bush. That evening the prince dreams of the sun god Amon-Ra, whose rhyming pronouncements lead the prince to discover a giant stone sphinx buried in the sand. The prince soon becomes a pharaoh and Egypt flourishes under his reign. Even the mice eat well! When an army appears on the kingdom’s doorstep the pharaoh prays to Amon-Ra and discovers that his act of kindness so many years ago has the power to save his people.