No longer available from Storybook Cove
Nasrudin Hoja was a mullah (teacher) in Turkey. He was a busy man – he worked in a vineyard, gave sermons at the mosque, and was sometimes even a judge. He did all of this with a nagging wife, a constant stream of uninvited visitors, and many animals. Although Hoja’s life wasn’t easy, his heart was always light and his observations about life held a witty twist. For instance, when his donkey got lost, his neighbors offered sympathy, but Hoja found the bright side: “Imagine if I were riding the donkey at the time. I’d be lost too!”
Though the ten Hoja stories presented by Rina Singh and richly illustrated by Farida Zaman are funny, each one contains such insight into human nature that Sufi teachers use them to illustrate their teachings. Traditional Turkish Hoja stories are much-loved throughout Asia, and Nearly Nonsense brings them to a North American readership sure to enjoy them and, through laughter, to learn from them.
About the Author
RINA SINGH was born in India and immigrated to Canada in 1980. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Concordia University and a teaching degree from McGill University. Before moving from Montreal to Toronto, she taught creative writing to gifted children. She has since written several critically acclaimed books for children. Her book A Forest of Stories has been translated into several languages, her poems and short stories have appeared in several Canadian literary journals, and she has exhibited photography in many Toronto galleries. Rina Singh teaches art and drama in Toronto, where she lives with her restaurateur husband and their two children.
A graduate of the Chelsea College of Art in London and London’s Wimbledon School of Art, FARIDA ZAMAN has been an illustrator and designer for over two decades. Her work has been used in print advertising, consumer packaging, web pages, greeting cards, and stationery. She has illustrated numerous children’s books and textbooks, and her illustrations have been used in national newspapers and magazines throughout Britain, Canada, and the United States. Farida Zaman lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.
“These retellings are unembellished, but their humor and intention are clear. Every school and public library collection should include some Turkish folktales, and this title is a decent way to fill a gap.”
—School Library Journal
“… Each yarn is a puzzle to ponder, laugh with and wonder over…. Each story is succinct and funny…. Zaman’s loose, cartoon drawings and clear colours suit the light touch of Hoja’s kind of wisdom….”
—The Toronto Star
“Nearly Nonsense… is an entertaining collection of Hoja tales from Turkey…. Singh, who was born in India, does us a favour by introducing this character to Canadian audiences. The illustrations by Toronto artist Farida Zaman add considerably to the text with their humour, their colour and their whimsical rendering.”
—The Winnipeg Free Press