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Two Pairs of Shoes based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
P.L. Travers, most famous for creating Mary Poppins, has taken two Near Eastern folk tales about shoes and brought them together in one book. They are beautifully retold. The tales are Abu Kassem's Slippers and The Sandals of Ayaz. In both cases, the shoes reveal something about the true nature of their owners, and a comment about when to hold on to things and when to discard them.The book is lavishly illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon in a Middle Eastern style. Every other page is a full color illustration, and there is also a small color illustration on the pages with text.A truly delightful book.
Two Pairs of Shoes contains two short stories about two different men and their choice of shoes. The first story is about Abu Kassem a merchant, who lives in Baghdad. He owns the most raged pair of shoes in the entire city, but he refuses to buy new ones because he does not wish to spend the money. One day he believes his friend has bought him a new pair of shoes and mistakenly takes them. The new pair of shoes actually belongs to the Cadi, which is the term for judge in Arabic. The Cadi, who only finds Abu Kassem¿s old slippers in place of his own, demands that the thief be apprehended. When they find Abu Kassem he is fined for taking the Cadi¿s shoes and his old slippers are returned to him. The rest of the story is about Abu Kassem trying to get rid of the ugly slippers and the continuous returning of the slippers and the fining of money for the damage they have caused. The story ends with the Cadi taking pity of Abu Kassem and took the slippers from him, but he also imparted words of wisdom. He told Abu Kassem that ¿nothing lasts forever, it says, and when a thing is no longer useful that thing should be relinquished.¿ The second story in the book is The Sandals of Ayaz, which is about a poor shepherd becoming the trusted friend and treasurer to the King. In the story the King tests his loyal advisers with a precious pearl. He asks each one of them what the pearl is worth. They all respond that the pearl is worth a great deal of money. He then asks them to crush the pearl and they respond that they would not dare crush something so precious to the King. The King does this test to all of his advisors until finally he reaches Ayaz. Ayaz tells him that the pearl is worth a great deal and when the King asks him to destroy it he crushes it between two rocks. The other advisors are angry that he has committed such an act, but Ayaz explains that his King¿s wish and command are more precious the then pearl could ever be. The other advisors are shamed by this answer. The advisors feeling shamed then decided to break into a room that Ayaz goes into every day because they believe that he is hiding precious jewels from the King. When they break into the room they find it empty, but they are not satisfied they dig up the floor and tore open the walls. The advisors only find a sheep skin vest and a pair of old shoes. When they present their findings to the King Ayaz explains that he goes to that room everyday to remember where he came from, so that he will not forget that without the King¿s affection he is only a lowly shepherd boy. This book depicts traditional artwork styles and dress of Iraq. It also addresses the different laws, law makers, and law judicators that are present in the Middle East. The laws that are depicted in the book are ones that affect a variety of issues addressing the Middles East. In a part dealing with Abu Kassem he is fined money for throwing his shoes in a pond because it fouled the water source for the city. In most areas of the Middle East water is in limited quantities. This book could be used during story time to depict traditional dress and artwork of the Middle East and also in a display dealing with the Middle East and their beliefs, art, customs, laws, and dress.