cover image The Legend of the Persian Carpet

The Legend of the Persian Carpet

Tomie dePaola. Putnam Publishing Group, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22415-7

DePaola ( Strega Nona ) retells--but does not illustrate--a legend about the origin of the jewel-patterned Persian rug. King Balash's brilliant giant diamond is stolen by a stranger who accidentally drops it onto a rocky plain, where the jewel shatters into thousands of glittering fragments. When apprentice carpet-weaver Payem leads the ruler to the ``carpet'' formed by the dazzling fragments, the overwhelmed king refuses to leave the beautiful sight behind. To lure their leader back to his palace, Payem and his fellow apprentices weave a silk carpet as brilliantly colored as the one made of diamond. A parable of the healing powers of art, this foray into the rich culture of the Middle East is ably recounted. Ewart's illustrations, with their unremarkable compositions and stiff, look-alike figures, are less pleasing. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)