The Conference Of The Birds

Holy Moses!  I think I just had a religious experience! 

*Such a beautifully constructed book, from the high-quality cover and paper used, to the illustrations by Demi; this is worth every penny of the $19.95 it's listed at (it takes a rare piece of kidlit to justify that price point)  
*Teaches a number of excellent lessons for children to learn, regardless of your particular house of worship
*Provides a bonus nugget of cultural history for adults in the foreword

*If you don't want a heaping serving of God at storytime, then this is the wrong book for you 
*After her introduction, the parrot is noticeably absent from the rest of the book's illustrations (except for maybe one where, if it's her, her beak looks different) -- I must question why was this decision made 
*A point of clarification on Demi's pictures -- the birds are exquisite, the borders are magnificent, but the background scenery was lacking once they reached the island

Until I opened this for the first time, I had never heard of the 'star' of The Conference of the Birds.  The hoopoe is an extremely interesting and unique flier with a storied past.  [Check out the Wikipedia page for a fuller account.]  I'm sure author Alexis York Lumbard chose the hoopoe for this reason.  In much the same way, I chose to focus on this character when trying to make a comparison for my blog's readers.  TCOTB is the hoopoe of your book collection.  It's elegant, has a memorable voice, and has a way of standing out from the crowd.  At the same time, it appears that nobody is on the fence with the hoopoe.  Everything from the Bible to recent Scandinavian lore views them very negatively, while both Persians from the Middle Ages and current Israeli citizens seem(ed) to hold it in high regard.  If I had to guess, you will either love it or hate it due to its heavy spiritual component.  I happen to love it (usually not the case with religious books for me, by the way), so I'm awarding it a Buy.  

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy

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