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The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sís

The Conference of the Birds (edition 2011)

by Peter Sís (Author)

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2692077,669 (4.26)33
Presents an illustrated tale of thirty birds and their perilous journey through the seven valleys of Quest, Love, Understanding, Detachment, Unity, Amazement, and Death in a quest to find their true king, the Simorgh.
Title:The Conference of the Birds
Authors:Peter Sís (Author)
Info:Penguin Press (2011), Edition: First Edition, 160 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis


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English (19)  Czech (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Noted children's book artist and author, Peter Sis, has released his first book for adult audiences with a brilliant adaptation of the epic poem, The Conference of the Birds, by the 12th century Sufi poet, Farid ud-Din Attar. This poem begins with the poet transforming into the hoopoe bird and determined to unite the world of warring birds in an exodus to the mountain of Kaf. The Simorgh, the true king of the birds, lives there and will be able to answer all of the birds' questions. Though at first the birds are excited to find resolve to their problems, as they learn just how arduous a journey this will be, they begin to have their doubts. The hoopoe rallies them throughout the journey though some don't and some won't make it. By the end, only 30 birds remain (which, if you know Persian, you know that "si" and "morgh" means "30 birds"), and they find not a king, but themselves, united by their harrowing journey and the answers within themselves all along.

I first read about this poem a couple years ago when I read Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni. Intrigued, I hunted down a copy of Attar's original text and found the poem's message of self-reliance and resilience overwhelmingly moving. At the same time I thought that this could make a beautiful book if illustrated and condensed to reach a wider audience (since reading an epic poem can be rather daunting to most people). When I found out recently that Peter Sis had taken on this endeavor, I knew that this poem was in good hands. Sis spoke last night at the Schlafly Branch of St. Louis Public Library, presenting both the story and how he connected with it, growing up in the Czech Republic well before the wall came down and then moving to America and honing his craft. He discussed how he found himself in the journey of the poem and how birds have always been a recurring image in his art, symbolizing the ideal of freedom. Thankfully, Penguin appreciated his vision as well, and together they created a stunning tribute. The paper is textured, almost linen-like, lending the book a contemplative feel that reflects its contents. Sis alternates the movement of the birds with moments of contemplation not just with his interpretation of the words, but by contrasting the vibrant colors and stately black-and-white. The poem is already a breathtaking masterpiece by itself; reading it with Sis' touch is an experience. No doubt the care he took into adapting Conference will translate into a resounding personal connection each reader will find within its pages. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
This book is aesthetically very pleasing, but I do not have enough context about the original poem to fully appreciate or understand it. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
It's a lovely thing to have this book in your hands. The paper is thick and textured and the pictures have a patterned rhythm that makes turning each page a joy. I really enjoy illustrations in books and reading this made me remember it. The poem is very secondary to the art in the book--just the barest thread of the story in the original poem, told in many fewer words, with the art taking on much of the burden of imparting meaning. Very enjoyable. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
This is my first experience with the Persian story/poem of abandoning pre-conceptions and leisure to go through trials to find answers within yourself. The story is much abbreviated and while the tale is fairly common, it is a story I like hearing so I may seek out a longer adaptation or perhaps the full translation. I think I would have preferred the book if it had provided a little more from the original poem. The artistry is at times interesting and beautiful, but most of the time I found it just okay. I guess it's not my style. ( )
  kparr | Dec 31, 2015 |
I loved this book. The ideas are deep but the writing is not complicated. It is organized in a very interesting way and there are not an overwhelming amount of text. Each chapter is short but carries a lot of meaning. I feel that it could be used in a classroom with upper level elementary kids to provoke in depth discussions. This book really pushes the reader to uncover the deeper meaning and understanding of the story. The illustrations on every page are amazing. The combination of illustrations and simple meaningful text make this a truly awesome book. The big idea of the book is to expose readers to beautiful artwork, provide a different point of view and to get children to think about ideas that may be considered "outside of the box". ( )
  rsochu1 | Mar 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Sisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Janiš, ViktorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Adaptation. Please don't combine with the original.

This is the graphic novel by Peter Sis. While inspired by Conference of the Birds by Farid al-Din Attar, it is very different and should NOT be combined.
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Presents an illustrated tale of thirty birds and their perilous journey through the seven valleys of Quest, Love, Understanding, Detachment, Unity, Amazement, and Death in a quest to find their true king, the Simorgh.

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