Fables and fairy tales never grow old when it comes to children's literature, which is why The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale by Lucine Kasbarian is a wonderful addition to any young reader's library.
Once there was and was not a sparrow who caught a thorn in his foot. He flies until he spots a woman baking bread and asks if the baker will pull the thorn from his foot. The baker obliges, but soon the sparrow returns asking for the thorn back. The baker has thrown it in the oven, so the sparrow threatens the baker to either return the thorn or give the sparrow some bread. The baker sees no sense in arguing and gives the sparrow some bread. From there, the sparrow swindles a shepherd tending his sheep, a bride and groom, and a minstrel, but in the end, all the sparrow ends up with is a thorn in his foot, where he had began.
This is a fascinating tale, sure to have you turning page after page to see what kind of trouble the sparrow is going to get into next and the colorful illustrations add to the tale, making you feel as though you're right in Armenia. Greed can get the better of anyone, which is why the message that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions is a great reminder.
Reading level: Ages 4-8
School & Library Binding: 32 pages
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corp/Ccb (April 2011)
Source of review copy: Author