cover image The Merchant and the Thief

The Merchant and the Thief

Ravi Zacharias, illus. by Laure Fournier. Zonderkidz, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-310-71636-5

Prolific author and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Zacharias (Can Man Live Without God?) retells an Indian folktale. Raj, a wealthy merchant, and Mohan, a poor seller of fruit and vegetables, live in the same town. Both have happy families, but Mohan is eaten up by envy of his wealthy neighbor. Mohan vows to follow Raj to market and steal his jewels. Under the guise of companionship, Mohan draws near to Raj. They travel together, and share rooms at night. Every night Mohan searches for Raj’s jewels but never finds them because Raj has hidden them the one place Mohan never looks. One day Raj confronts Mohan, saying he knows that Mohan wants his jewels. “When we have our eyes on other people’s treasure, we cannot see how close we are to the greatest treasure there is,” Raj says. God’s love makes you “rich on the inside,” he tells Mohan. Raj’s forgiveness restores Mohan’s faith in himself and he returns to his family a changed man. Fournier’s illustrations, inspired by her work in bronze sculpture, depict the landscape, architecture, and clothing of India with lush earth tones kissed by gentle highlights of yellow and blue. Ages 4–up. Agent: Wolgemuth and Associates. (Apr.)