50 books: speaking of heathen stuff

Today’s book pick is one I just read to my kids last night, and it’s just as good as I remembered it from my childhood.

The Flying Carpet by the wonderful Marcia Brown 

(retold from Richard Burton’s translation of The Arabian Nights)

Very lavish and rhythmic, so much fun to read out loud (warning:  plot spoiler!)

“Alas!  We have traveled far and wide for hope of wedding the Princess Nur-al Nihar.  But in vain!  She lies on her bed, sick unto death.  Her women weep and wail in sorrow.  O my brothers, if you would see her for the last time, take a look before she is no more!”

Ali and Ahmad looked into the tube.  Indeed Nur-al Nihar was about to die.  Ahmad turned to his brothers.  “Come, she is not yet lost.  I can save the princess!” He pulled from his pocket the magical apple and told them what it could do.

“My carpet!” cried Prince Husayn.  “It shall fly us in the twinkling of an eye straight to our beloved!”

The illustrations are like what you’d get if Marc Chagall were an Arab — gorgeously gaudy,  just absolutely perfect to completely satisfy a child’s thirst for brilliant color, emotion, texture, and action.  We love this book!

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