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Ghaddar the Ghoul and Other Palestinian Stories

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Why do snakes eat frogs? What makes a man-eating ghoul turn vegetarian? And how can a woman make a bored prince smile? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in this delicious anthology of Palestinian folk tales collected and retold by Sonia Nimr. A wry sense of humour runs through the characterful women, genial tricksters and mischievous animals who ma Why do snakes eat frogs? What makes a man-eating ghoul turn vegetarian? And how can a woman make a bored prince smile? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in this delicious anthology of Palestinian folk tales collected and retold by Sonia Nimr. A wry sense of humour runs through the characterful women, genial tricksters and mischievous animals who make an appearance. Sonia's upbeat storytelling, bubbling with wit and humour, will delight readers discovering for the first time the rich tradition of Palestinian storytelling.


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Why do snakes eat frogs? What makes a man-eating ghoul turn vegetarian? And how can a woman make a bored prince smile? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in this delicious anthology of Palestinian folk tales collected and retold by Sonia Nimr. A wry sense of humour runs through the characterful women, genial tricksters and mischievous animals who ma Why do snakes eat frogs? What makes a man-eating ghoul turn vegetarian? And how can a woman make a bored prince smile? The answers to these and many other questions can be found in this delicious anthology of Palestinian folk tales collected and retold by Sonia Nimr. A wry sense of humour runs through the characterful women, genial tricksters and mischievous animals who make an appearance. Sonia's upbeat storytelling, bubbling with wit and humour, will delight readers discovering for the first time the rich tradition of Palestinian storytelling.

49 review for Ghaddar the Ghoul and Other Palestinian Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    The first volume in a new series of children's folklore collections being put out by the British publisher Frances Lincoln, Ghaddar the Ghoul contains nine stories taken from the Palestinian tradition. Retold by Sonia Nimr, a history professor at Birzeit University, who is also involved in storytelling for children, these tales reference many classic folktale conventions of the Middle East, from the presence and involvement of djinn in human affairs, to the all-important role of storytelling its The first volume in a new series of children's folklore collections being put out by the British publisher Frances Lincoln, Ghaddar the Ghoul contains nine stories taken from the Palestinian tradition. Retold by Sonia Nimr, a history professor at Birzeit University, who is also involved in storytelling for children, these tales reference many classic folktale conventions of the Middle East, from the presence and involvement of djinn in human affairs, to the all-important role of storytelling itself. Included are some epic-quest type tales, among them the titular Ghaddar the Ghoul, in which a young man named Ahmad journeys to the Valley of the Ghouls in order to confront the fearsome Ghaddar; or Dancing Jasmine, Singing Water, in which a brother's quest to provide his twin sister with all that she desires leads to their eventual reunion with their father. Also in this vein is Hasan and the Golden Feather, in which a prince sets out to "do something worthwhile" and prove himself worthy of the throne. Quite a few of the tales end in unexpectedly humorous ways, such as The Farmer Who Followed his Dream, in which a farmer finds that following your dream has its reward; Tanbouri's Clown, in which a seemingly indestructible pair of shoes helps to teach an old miser a lesson; and Stupid Salma, in which a husband learns that his wife is by no means the stupidest person in the world. The animal tale also makes an appearance, as the reader learns "why snakes eat frogs, why swallow has a fork in his tail and why mosquitoes can't sing" in How Swallow Tricked Snake; or discovers that those who swear falsely are always punished in Hungry Wolf and Crafty Fox. Finally, in my favorite tale of the collection, I Landed at the Prince's Party, the famed female storyteller archetype makes her appearance, weaving a story that begins and ends "with a lie." I enjoyed reading this short collection of tales, and believe that young readers would as well. The black and white illustrations by Hannah Shaw are engaging, though by no means extraordinary. The folklorist in me was very pleased, moreover, to discover that source notes were included at the end, a feature that is always helpful to those inclined to research further.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anneke Alnatour

    Lovely collection of Palestinian stories that the whole family enjoyed... Nice illustrations and a nice variety.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    So, the 100th book in the reading challenge; a book that I found in a tiny bookshop in a back street of Winchester. How can you turn down a book that starts with Ghadddar the Ghoul and his magic three hairs, and then goes on to talk about dreams, magic horses and glowing feathers, dancing jasmine and singing water, the reasons for snakes eating frogs, foxes outwitting wolves, and the wonderfully surreal story that starts and ends with lies. Great for bedtime reading; great to have more stories t So, the 100th book in the reading challenge; a book that I found in a tiny bookshop in a back street of Winchester. How can you turn down a book that starts with Ghadddar the Ghoul and his magic three hairs, and then goes on to talk about dreams, magic horses and glowing feathers, dancing jasmine and singing water, the reasons for snakes eating frogs, foxes outwitting wolves, and the wonderfully surreal story that starts and ends with lies. Great for bedtime reading; great to have more stories to add to the repertoire.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Yumi Learner

    A couple of days ago I read this book. The book has a lot of mythologies from an Arabic country. When I read the stories, I felt very nostalgic because the mythologies and Japanese ones were so similar. They reminded me of my mom reading me a lot of Japanese stories when I was a kid. They also reminded me of me reading my daughter them. I like reading mythologies because they are always Falstaffian.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alger Smythe-Hopkins

    A curated collection that (by design) is a careful selection of familiar child-friendly stories from a oral tradition that is generally earthy and more violent than cute and amusing. As a gentle introduction to folk tales this book serves the reader well, but anyone with a wider exposure will find these tales over familiar and missing the best parts, the parts that make these stories timeless.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Leonca

    A delightful, light-hearted collection full of heroes and humor. I especially enjoyed the stories featuring ghouls. It always cracks me up how quickly they turn from wanting to eat you alive to talking politely when you do something nice for them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Aischa

    Cute. An nice little book of Palestinian stories. Cute size;cute illustrations.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    Fun stuff. Folk tales from other cultures is always a blast to read. The only real problem I have with this collection is that it's too short. Fun stuff. Folk tales from other cultures is always a blast to read. The only real problem I have with this collection is that it's too short.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emma Reed

    This is a charming, interesting and easy read (designed for children) with nice illustrations and a witty tone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Reham

    I already know most of the stories told, but never get to read them in such a book, in which they're written very beautifully and simply. I admire such works that help preserving our folk heritage. I already know most of the stories told, but never get to read them in such a book, in which they're written very beautifully and simply. I admire such works that help preserving our folk heritage.

  11. 5 out of 5

    محمد المحمود

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bro_Pair أعرف

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marwa Abdallah

  14. 5 out of 5

    Riham

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bb Habibibi

  17. 4 out of 5

    Readtolive

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maria Antunes

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zayneea

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hartland

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ali

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yousef Hafez

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mona Zaki

  24. 4 out of 5

    E

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shereen

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alice

  27. 4 out of 5

    Worthy

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rory D

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fanni Sütő

  30. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

  31. 4 out of 5

    Ali

  32. 5 out of 5

    eRin

  33. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Hussien

  34. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

  35. 5 out of 5

    Miss Corene

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  37. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

  38. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

  39. 4 out of 5

    Lyra Belacqua

  40. 5 out of 5

    tamerinst

  41. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  42. 4 out of 5

    Andrés Santiago

  43. 4 out of 5

    Tzipora

  44. 4 out of 5

    Soonha

  45. 4 out of 5

    Ana Sun

  46. 4 out of 5

    Ron

  47. 4 out of 5

    Ola Jamous

  48. 4 out of 5

    Assil

  49. 4 out of 5

    Husam Abed

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