The Conference of the Birds
By Peter Sis
(Penguin Press, Hardcover, 9781594203060, 160pp.)
Publication Date: October 27, 2011
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In "The Conference of the Birds" Caldecott Honor-winning children's book author and illustrator Peter SIs breathes new life into this foundational Sufi poem, revealing its profound lessons.
SIs's deeply felt adaptation tells the story of an epic flight of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh. Drawn from all species, the band of birds is led by the hoopoe. He promises that the voyage to the mountain of Kaf, where Simorgh lives, will be perilous and many birds resist, afraid of what they might encounter. Others perish during the passage through the seven valleys: quest, love, understanding, friendship, unity, amazement, and death.
Those that continue reach the mountain to learn that Simorgh the king is, in fact, each of them and all of them. In this lyrical and richly illustrated story of love, faith, and the meaning of it all, Peter SIs shows the pain, and beauty, of the human journey.
In addition, Peter Sis is the first children's book illustrator to win the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. He was chosen to deliver the 2012 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture for the Association for Library Service to Children. Peter won the 2012 Hans Christian Andersen Award. This award is considered the most prestigious in international children's literature, given biennially by the International Board on Books for Young People.
Peter Sis lives in the New York City area with his wife and children.