The Three Princes of Serendip: New Tellings of Old Tales for Everyone

Illustrator: Geertje Aalders

Binding: Hardcover

Imprint: Candlewick Press

Age 6+

People & Places

This feast of Middle Eastern folklore from an award-winning Iraqi storyteller is paired with vibrant cut-paper art.

The twenty fables and folktales in this illustrated storybook have taken a long journey. Many have roots that stretch across Europe, Asia, and Africa, but when award-winning writer and gatherer of tales Rodaan Al Galidi learned them in his homeland of Iraq, it was as Arabic folktales and as part of the Arabic storytelling tradition. When he migrated to the Netherlands, he shaped twenty of those tales into his debut book for children, which was translated to English by Laura Watkinson. Filled with wisdom about love and acceptance, and warnings against folly, these elegantly translated stories—many unknown in the United States—of donkeys and roosters, kings, sheikhs, and paupers are exquisitely illustrated by cut-paper artist Geertje Aalders. Beautifully packaged, The Three Princes of Serendip is a rich and varied introduction to the world of Middle Eastern folklore.


Rodaan Al Galidi is an award-winning author of poetry and novels for adults. The Three Princes of Serendip is his first book for children. He lives in the Netherlands.

Laura Watkinson is an award-winning translator who lives in Amsterdam.

Geertje Aalders is an acclaimed Dutch artist who uses a cut-paper technique. She lives in Kampen, Netherlands.

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