In this story, the author, Odile Weuleresse, has cleverly taken a figure legendary in the Middle East, Nasreddine, and adapted his story for a new audience. The story, together with the brilliant illustrations by Rébecca Dautremer will, I am certain, capture the attention and resonate with children today.
Nasreddine’s father is a farmer who weekly delivers goods to a nearby market with the help of his donkey and of course, Nasreddine. Weekly, as the story goes, they encounter hecklers no matter what they do and this upsets Nasreddine greatly, for he does not want anyone to speak poorly of his father. Each week he comes up with a new alternative, hoping to avoid the scorn of the previous week. Alas, someone always finds something to criticize! His father, wise man that he is, calmly goes along with Nasreddine until finally, as they prepare to go to market, Nasreddine suggests that THEY must carry the donkey! Oh dear.
In the end, Mustafa, Nasreddine’s father must step in and ask him to think about what he is saying. And then…Nasreddine has his lightbulb moment.
There is a lesson here for us all…