Monday, August 26, 2019

Review: Riding a Donkey Backwards by Sean Taylor, the Khayaal Theatre and Shirin Adl


Would you like to know how a thief can turn into a donkey? Whether a cow can climb a pole? Or why you should spoon yogurt into a lake? Mulla Nasruddin knows all the answers, and he might also tell you why he rides his donkey backwards. Whether in the guise of an imam in a mosque or a beggar in the street, this trickster is never at a loss for a rejoinder, though it may leave you scratching your head, rolling your eyes, or laughing out loud.

Oh my goodness. I literally laughed out loud several times while reading this. And I will be adding it to my collection at the library. But I refuse to take it home. My children are already way too quick with a come-back, thank-you, and they do not need any more ideas!

The many stories are short, just a page or even a couple paragraphs. One reminds me of a blonde joke I used to tell. Some are familiar (I do love trickster/fool tales), others were new to me, all will be enjoyed by children of all ages. If I were still teaching, I might keep this on hand for quick pick-ups when students seem to have the doldrums - get them laughing and move on to your next subject!

The illustrations are three-dimensional, mostly cut paper with other media mixed in. Students might have fun telling their own funny stories and illustrating them in the same way, which could make for a fabulous hall display!

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