cover image A Tale of Two Rice Birds: A Folktale from Thailand

A Tale of Two Rice Birds: A Folktale from Thailand

Clare Hodgson Meeker. Sasquatch Books, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-57061-008-0

Meeker and Lamb debut with an exceptionally prescient and well-wrought retelling of a Thai folktale. Two rice birds ensconce themselves in a teakwood tree, have children and would live happily forever after were it not for a tragic accident and an equally tragic misunderstanding. All is not lost, however, for the love that bound the parent birds follows them into future incarnations, when the female becomes a stubborn princess and the male, a canny peasant. The beauty of the story is matched by Lamb's panoply of Eastern-inspired illustrations that transform into Thai-like murals. Intricate, pleasing borders and rich colors align with the the text to make this book a glorious introduction not only to a timeless tale but also to the artistic and cultural sensibilities of a foreign land. Ages 4-up. (Sept.)