Picture Book Review: The Phoenix of Persia

The Phoenix of Persia by Sally Pomme Clayton
The Phoenix of Persia
by Sally Pomme Clayton, Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars


Prince Zal is left for dead when he is a baby, and the magnificient Phoenix raises him with her own little chicks in her nest atop the mountain. She teaches him art, science, poetry, music, and history as well as how to survive in the wild. He grows up to find his true parents in the end.

I liked this traditional story from Iran with its message about the sanctity of all human life. The story is told with strong writing and vivid words.

I liked the art style of the illustrations with bold strokes and bright colors, but I didn’t like the faces of the characters. Their eyes are distorted, and their mouths are crooked, giving them a creepy look! The rest of the artwork is lovely, but all the people have weird faces.
This picture book comes with a QR code that links to an audio narrative of the book along with background music and sound effects. Listening to the audio narrative with the cultural music makes the reading experience truly special. (To use the QR code, simply point your phone’s camera at the code on the first page, and a link to the audio will pop up. No special app is needed.)

This story is taken from a traditional story in an ancient Iranian epic poem. At the end of the book, there is an explanation of the different Iranian instruments used in the music recording, showing how each instrument represents a different character.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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