Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Conference of the Birds by Alexis York Lumbard

Good Day Dear Readers!
I've found another inspiring book for you today. The Conference of the Birds is a retelling of the 800 yr old parable of the same title, this one is much simpler to read and shorter so children can understand. I love the allegory of how the little Hoopoe bird leads the other birds in a journey to find the King Simorgh the Wise. The Simorgh, as it turns out is an ancient, mythical creature similar to the Phoenix. There's much imagery and spiritual take away value from this story, no matter what religion you might come from.

I've included a few ideas on how to make the story come more alive. Parents and Teachers can tune into so many aspects of this book from learning about birds, to studying cultures and their religions, to mythical symbolism and even basic human conditions we all must deal with such as humility, courage and other virtues.

Happy Reading,
The Queen


Book Title: The Conference of the Birds
Author: Alexis York Lumbard
Illustrator: Demi

Book Information:

Publisher and date: Wisdom Tales (September 16, 2012)
Reading level: 4 - 8 years
Book Info: Hardcover: 44 pages
Genre: Children's Picture book- Allegory
ISBN-13: 978-1937786021

Book Theme:
Children and adults alike will relate to this inspiring tale about conquering one’s faults and practicing the virtues of humility, patience, detachment from worldly goods, and courage.

Book Summary
 Lavishly illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Demi, this magical and inspiring story of the adventures of a flock of wayfaring birds in search of their king will delight children with its tales of overcoming fear, physical hardship, and inner limitations. Based on an 800 year old classical parable, and retold by mother of three, Alexis York Lumbard, it will provide parents with a unique opportunity to teach moral and spiritual development to their children.

  • Finalist in the “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category of The USA “Best Books 2012” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
  • Finalist in the “Best New Children's Picture Book” category of The USA “Best Books 2012” Awards
  • Finalist in the “Best Interior Design” category of The USA “Best Books 2012” Awards

Activity Adventures:

Young Readers:
Coloring page of the hoopoe. Click link for full page illustration that can be printed and colored.

Older Readers:
Pick one or two of the birds featured in this story and research information about them.

Crafty Ideas:
Create bird masks. Decorate with colored markers, feathers, anything you desire.
Here's some places to find ideas or printables:
Printable bird mask
Paper plate bird mask instructions.

Writing Prompts and Discussion Questions:
Why do you think the author picked particular birds as examples for human weakness? Such as, why do you think the duck was the homebody who didn't want to leave their familiar pond? Why was the parrot the one burdened down with jewels? And why do you think the hawk wanted to beat everyone else to the king?

Write your thoughts in your journal. Or talk about them.
Are there any qualities you find that you related to? Talk or write about that, too.
Discuss the virtues shown in this story and how they might apply to your own life. What does humility mean? Or courage? This book provides a wonderful chance at exploring the challenges every human faces in their journey in this life. 


Authors Arena

ALEXIS YORK LUMBARD’S first published children’s book is The Conference of the Birds, while she has two further children’s books scheduled for publication. Having noticed a lamentable absence of high quality books of spiritual substance for the earliest of readers, she began writing her own stories since becoming a mother in 2005. With a B.A. in Religious Studies from the George Washington University, it is her sincere hope to bring the wisdom and beauty of the world’s religions to the eager and gifted minds of young children. Alexis, her husband, and three children live in Newton, MA.

Illustrator: DEMI
DEMI is the award-winning author of over 130 bestselling children’s books. Her titles have sold over half a million copies. The Empty Pot was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1990 as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Demi’s book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. In addition, she represented the United States at the First International Children’s Book Conference in Beijing, China, in 1992. She lives with her husband in Yarrow Point, WA.

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