Every once in a while I like to pull one of my all time favorites off the bookshelf. Here’s a clever tale from the Middle East.
Title: Sanji and the Baker
Written by: Robin Tzannes
Illustrated by: Korky Paul
Scholastic 1993, fiction
Several re-issues and Spanish translation available
Suitable for ages: 5+
Themes/topics: justice, honesty, greed
Opening: When Sanji was a young man, he traveled a great deal. He sailed across stormy seas. He traveled over hot, open deserts. One day he arrived in the fabled city of Fratsia, a dazzling place where merchants traded in spices, gems, and colorful silks.
Brief synopsis: (from worldcat.org) When Sanji moves to the city of Fratsia in an apartment just above the bakery, he enjoys smelling the tempting aromas, but when the baker accuses him of stealing the smells, a judge decides Sanji must pay the baker with five silver coins.
Activites and Resources:
Writing: Identify the details in the story the author uses to create the setting. Rewrite the story using a different setting by weaving in details of a different time and place. Show it through the senses, characters, and actions.
Why I like this book: I’ve heard several variations of this story. It’s a great read-aloud with a surprise ending that gets kids thinking. The illustrations take you to a far away place and are chock full of interesting details. Pure fun!
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent resources.