Literacy Toolbox Review: The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale Retold by Lucine Kasbarian

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is a new book to help you teach your child about greed, selfishness, and using good judgment.  In this retell of an Armenian folktale, a trickster sparrow takes advantage of people, trading items he has “taken” all to further his ambition of becoming a minstrel.  However, the surprise ending shows us that manipulation and trickery are not rewarded.

You know me. . . I’m always looking for the teachable moment in a book!  This book does not fail!  The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale has many teaching possibilities, beginning with a simple discussion of oral folklore and how it is passed down from generation to generation.  This story may have never been retold in book form, had the author not heard the story from her own father.  The story is complemented with bright and colorful folk-style illustrations and the dialogue is in speech balloons.  On a higher level, one may choose to discuss Armenian traditions as experienced throughout the book.  And beyond that, you may choose to discuss how the sparrow goes about asking for help and then becomes greedy in each successive “find.”  Finally, April is Genocide Memorial Month.  The ancient Armenian oral tradition was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915.  Without this oral tradition, this story may never have been heard and able to have been written in picture book form.  So, really depending on the age and developmental level of your child, there is a lot to work with when reading this book!

If you are looking for more, the author has a discussion and activity guide on her website

This book is intended for readers ages 4-8, but I think that parents and teachers of children as old as high-school age can find ways to use this book as a springboard to discuss a variety of topics.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher. 

©2011 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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3 Responses to “Literacy Toolbox Review: The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale Retold by Lucine Kasbarian”

  1. tessasdad Says:

    Good review! I just review this as well but totally missed the fact that April is Genocide Awareness Month.

  2. Patty Says:

    So many great ideas for cultural projects in connection with one book! Thanks!

  3. Tool Time Rewind: A Month in Review at Literacy Toolbox « Literacy Toolbox Says:

    […] Tips and Tools to help Parents and Educators to Enhance the Literacy Lives of Children « Literacy Toolbox Review: The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale Retold by Lucine Kasbarian Q & A with Author Pam Allyn […]

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