Song of the Old City
Song of the Old City
Bookroo5.6 / 7Goodreads3.8 / 5
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Song of the Old City

Written by Anna Pellicioli & illustrated by Merve Atilgan
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books For Young Readers
Prices as of Jun 16

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

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 . . .”

What Kind of Book is Song of the Old City

Primarily about


Where Does This Book Stand Out

  • See the World

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The Creatives Behind the Book

What Has Merve Atilgan Said About This Book

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What Has Anna Pellicioli Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date
November 17, 2020
Reading Age
4 - 7 years
Lib. of Congress (LCCN)
WorldCat Number (OCLC)

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Core Score - 66%

Making good progress . . .

Depth Score - 21%

Just the barebones.

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