“A delightful introduction to Istanbul and its inspiring tradition of passing along kindness.”
A young girl’s adventurous day in Istanbul begins with receiving a “flapping fish” from a local fisherman. With the fish and each subsequent item she is gifted—a freshly baked sesame simit, a fanciful story, pomegranate juice—she passes along the generous gesture, whether by returning the floppy fish to the sea, sharing her baked bread with seagulls, or retelling the story for someone else. Her journey leads her to bazaars, Turkish baths, rooftops, ships, and new friends, all along the way sharing kindness with humans and animals alike. Both the story and the illustrations are original and engaging, if a bit unrestrained—the last page concludes with the young girl falling through the sky after marching along wires strung from chimney to chimney. Atilgan’s detailed costuming of the main character—with her bright red sweater and boots—and other characters—with scarves, hats, coats, and wispy strands of hair—and their dynamic poses enrich the story with a bustling sense of movement, accentuating the girl’s busy day of experiencing and giving. This energy is further heightened by Pellicioli’s unique use of second person narration, which engages readers in the story and the exploration of the “old city filled with boats, people, prayers, and hot tea . . .”
This lyrical, whimsical picture book, set in the old city of Istanbul, celebrates kindness and generosity of spirit. Follow one little girl on her busy day through the old city of Istanbul–from the Galata bridge to the Grand Bazaar–as the city opens its arms to her. All along the way, the generous people she meets share many gifts with her: sesame rounds, hot tea, a boat ride, rose candy, pomegranate juice, even a scrub in a Turkish bath! But she doesn’t just keep the gifts for herself. At every turn, she finds a way to share what has been given to her and pass it on so others can enjoy it too. With poetic text and radiant artwork, author Anna Pellicioli and Turkish illustrator Merve Atilgan bring us this heartwarming tale of kindness and generosity in the city known as the crossroads of the world.