CM . . .
. Volume IX Number 15 . . . . March 28, 2003
In this tale from the Middle East, Aziz’s father, a poor rug merchant, admonishes Aziz for spending too much time listening to stories in the marketplace rather than concentrating on business. He worries that Aziz will be unable to provide for him when he gets old. One day, a man offers to trade his old, worn carpet, in which many tales are woven, for Aziz’s donkey. Aziz agrees, incurring his father’s wrath, but the enchanted rug proves to be quite magical, providing Aziz with hundreds of stories to tell. Crowds of people, showering Aziz with coins, gather to listen to his tales.
This story emphasizes the importance of the storytelling tradition and passing stories down from one generation to the next. The font suits the Middle Eastern setting, while Czernecki’s simple, black line drawings on a parchment-coloured background suit the simplicity of the text. (It is interesting to note that Czernecki is so versatile, employing a variety of media in his books, adapting his artistic expression and the cultural elements to suit the story and its setting.)
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird’s Hill School in East St. Paul, Manitoba.
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