The Girl With a Brave Heart: A Tale From Tehran

Rita Jahan­foruz; Vali Mintzi, illus.
  • Review
By – November 8, 2013

Writ­ten by a famed Israeli singer, illus­trated by a Beza­lel-trained artist and orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Hebrew, this sim­ple, beau­ti­ful, lyri­cal folk tale has a moral which is clear: self­less­ly fol­low your heart and help those in need and, when you do, reward will fol­low. In some respects, this is a Cin­derel­la-like tale but there’s no need here for mag­i­cal fairy god­moth­ers or the like. A kind, gen­er­ous, giv­ing heart is all you real­ly need; self-inter­est and a cal­cu­lat­ing approach will nev­er do the trick. Although there’s a les­son to be learned, the sto­ry isn’t one bit didac­tic or heavy-hand­ed. On the con­trary, the tale is light­ly and deft­ly told in flow­ing prose, accom­pa­nied by col­or­ful illus­tra­tions that per­fect­ly enhance the text and are filled with detail which evoke tone and mood. The pub­lish­er rec­om­mends the book for ages 4 – 10, but this review­er would up the rec­om­men­da­tion all the way through adult­hood. It begs to be read aloud and would also be a won­der­ful resource for pub­lic speak­ers on a vari­ety of occa­sions. An unusu­al tale filled with uni­ver­sal truth, this book is high­ly recommended.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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