by: Rita Jahanforuz

Shiraz, a little girl living in Tehran, does not think of herself as being brave, but when she drops something she treasures from the balcony, she knows she will need all her courage to go and retrieve it. For it has fallen into the garden of an old woman who is very unusual very unusual indeed. This evocative tale delightfully reflects our own British folktale of Mother Frost , whereby magic waters reveal the state of the soul within so that it either shines forth in beauty or shows itself as a sad shadow. There is a wonderful, eastern twist at the end where the soul has to use its wisdom to follow instructions, which may not be quite what they seem. Told in true storytelling mode with an unobtrusive modern ring, and absorbingly illustrated by an artist who takes her inspiration from Van Gogh, Hockney and Matisse, this book is a teaching tool of enchantment whose legacy will endure.

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