The Secret Message

All day the bird sang of longing. But the merchant would not let him go…

Alone, imprisoned in a golden cage, and far from the jungles of home, a parrot longs for freedom. Will he ever escape?

Thanks to a secret mesage passed along by his friends in India, the parrot outwits his wealthy owner and soars to freedom.

Based on an ancient Persian poem, this is a story of surprising cleverness, powerful solidarity, exotic travels, and a simple wish fulfilled. This enchanting tale, told with subtle humor and vibrant images, is a perfect introduction to the culture, literature, and history of the Middle East.

Author’s Note

When I was a child, growing up in Iran, I begged my father every evening to tell me the story of the parrot and the merchant. It was a tale he told from memory. I still remember the fantastic scenes that played in my imagination as he spoke.

Years later, when I studied Persian literature, I discovered my favorite bedtime story was actually an ancient poem. The poet was Rumi, the famous literary figure who lived in Persia hundreds of years ago, in the 13th century.

Discovering this familiar story from my childhood in an important work of literature was the start of a lifelong passion for books. Today, I continue to crack open big, dusty volumes in search of small treasures…and secret messages.

Praise and reviews of The Secret Message

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Book Dads

“A great choice for adults interested in discussing philosophical issues and/or exploring diverse cultures with young listeners. Unusual and thought-provoking.” ~ Kirkus Review

“After the first suspenseful reading, children should clamor for repeats.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

“This handsome picture book’s intriguing title will grab children, and they won’t be disappointed with the twists in both story and message. Both the richly detailed scenes and story reversals will draw a young audience.” ~ Book List