Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs: a Treasury of Islamic Wisdom for Children and Parents
Winner of the 2004 Aesop Prize
Newsweek: “This anthology vividly tells traditional stories from all corners of the Muslim world.”
Saudi Aramco World: “This is an anthology of nearly 40 brief parables and folk tales—all just the right length for bedtime reading to young children—that draws from the broadest possible range of islamic cultures, from China to Morocco. Some are from the Qur’an, others are from the hadith—the reported sayings of the Prophet Muhammad—and others are from folk traditions, including half a dozen classic Joha/Nasreddin Hoja stories. Interspersed are proverbs from equally wide-ranging sources. It’s an eclectic, delightful presentation that will appeal to readers of any religious background who seek intercultural wisdom tales. All the stories are explained and sourced at the back of the book, which increases its value to students of Islam and world cultures, who will find in it a pleasurable, memorable path to understanding some of the life wisdom of Islam.”
Chaos and Wonder and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting
Foreword Magazine: “Compilations of essays, if not skillfully edited, can often dart and ramble, leaving the reader a bit disheveled trying to hold on. Not so in this treasure of a book. These essays, organized into three sections— Waking, Struggles with Love, and Embracing Life—flow elegantly one to the next, never redundant, as no parent-child relationship ever is. Each piece illuminates another surprising example of the extraordinary to be found in the ordinary. This is not a book about religion; nor is it a book about how to parent; yet, it is a profoundly spiritual collection, which every parent should read. The authors bravely share intimate moments from their own parenting journeys. Readers, the lucky recipients, are privy to the sacred surprises that surface even during the most difficult of times with kids.”
Daughters of the Desert: Remarkable Women from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim Traditions.
Booklist: “Women, though mentioned in the holy books of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, have never really gotten their due. This book tries to rectify that situation in 18 stories, the five women authors using sacred writings as their basis. Such familiar names as Sarah, Mary Magdalene, and Eve are here, as is Khadija, the wife of Mohammad. The authors also give voice to some unnamed narrators—for example, the servant girl who confronts Peter for denying Jesus. The stories are short and simply told, but they are intriguing and invite discussion…An interesting way of showing how the three religions spring from the same sandy landscape.”
Harmony: a Treasury of Chinese Wisdom for Children and Parents
Amazon: “Sarah Conover and co-author Chen Hui, have drawn on 24 ancient Chinese "chengyu" (Chinese sayings and proverbs) and turned them into a delightful book entitled Harmony: Chinese Wisdom for Children and Parents, a book that goes a long way to giving readers of all ages special insight into how the Chinese think and what largely defines their culture.
One of the things I most noticed and appreciated about this book is how well it crosses over to readers of all ages. I can only imagine this is not an easy task for an author to accomplish. From young to old it is a perfect introduction to China. Young children will love having this book read to them and will gaze for hours at the incredible brush paintings and illustrations by Ji Ruoxiao. Adults of all walks of life, from students of Chinese, businessmen traveling to China, Congressmen and women needing to understand Chinese culture, will greatly benefit from this book. Many of these chengyu are frequently used by the Chinese people to state and/or clarify their position on an issue--sometimes overtly, sometimes not. As an example given in the book, Mao Zedong used the proverb "foolish old man moves mountain" to show that obstacles can be removed given enough determination. And, we have all heard about actual hills in China being leveled and moved to make way for modern projects.
The chengyu are brought to light by 3 methods; the title and exact translation of the original proverb, the stunning brush paintings that capture the essence of the fable, and the "retelling" of the story for modern audiences. The retellings are terrific in that they flesh out the traditional proverbs, some of which may not have immediate meaning to a western audience since we largely grew up with different ones. (You will immediately recognize some of the fables or titles, such as "Yu Gong Moved Mountains", and "Blind Men Touch an Elephant", however, the storylines do not always progress how one might expect, as in the case of "Practice Makes Perfect"). At the end of the book Conover has provided a final recap explanation on each chengyu's use in today's society.
Conover and Chen also incorporate a section on philosophical and religious influences in China over the millennia that created the chengyu and a handy guide to pronunciation of common Chinese expressions.
Finally, if it is the goal of chengyu and fables world wide to distill a story down into teachable sayings, the title of this book, Harmony, could not be more appropriate. One gets a very clear picture that harmony itself is the driving force behind Chinese Culture.”
Katha Sagar: Ocean of Stories, Hindu Wisdom for Every Age
“This collection of stories from Hindu mythology is a wonderful introduction for school age children that will fill them with wonder and jumpstart their imagination. For the adult reader, you will find the stories very whimsical entwined with cogent values and tradition that would make for thoughtful "bed-time story" material. As a non-Hindu, I found this book to be very clear to understand with plenty of background knowledge, cultural sensitivity, and a very helpful afterword, story notes and sources, and glossary. The illustrations in the book are worthy of framing and evoke emotions that match the spirit of the story. This book is definitely one for your bookshelf and for growing the cultural awareness of your child!”
Kindness: A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents
Winner of the 2002 Skipping Stones Award for Mulitcultural Diversity
Booklist: “Many American children know the parable of the mustard seed told in the New Testament. Few, however have been exposed to the equally compelling Buddhist story of the mustard seed. In this parable, the Buddha tells a woman who has lost her child to seek out mustard seeds from families that have not been exposed to death. In doing so, the woman learns the universality of grief. Thirty-one such stories have been masterfully adapted and translated by Conover to transmit the soft, lyrical voice of the originals. These include Jataka Tales, stories of the Buddha in past incarnations, which are widely read and retold to Buddhist children throughout the world. Populated with sticky-haired dragons, verbose monkeys, and strange-looking monks, and illustrated in pleasant pictures contributed by Valerie Wahl, Kindness is packed with excellent tales that will surprise and delight readers while introducing them to the diversity of religious traditions.”
Muhammad: the Story of a Prophet and Reformer
“Author SHEDS LIGHT ON PROPHET”
By: Tracy Simmons
“Spokane author’s faith journey leads her to write children’s books on hinduism”
By: Megan Carroll
“BUDDHIST AUTHOR CONOVER SHEDS LIGHT ON PROPHET MUHAMMAD”
By: Amtul Q Farhat
“Author-teacher expands awareness of cultural, spiritual traditions”
By: Yvonne Lopez-Morton