Jackal in the Garden: An Encounter with Bihzad

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Overview

The first Art Encounters title to feature art outside the Western canon

Little is known about the fifteenth-century Persian painter Bizhad--we only know that he worked in what is now Afghanistan and Iran, and that he was the first artist to sign his works. Jackal in the Garden imagines Bizhad as an astoundingly gifted dreamer and contrasts him with a strong female protagonist, Anubis, a girl born disfigured into the harem of her vicious father. She must fight for survival--and ...

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2006 Hardcover New 0823004155. New hardcover with no remainder mark. Professional service from a Main Street bookstore.; 8.40 X 6.60 X 1 inches; 176 pages.

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Overview

The first Art Encounters title to feature art outside the Western canon

Little is known about the fifteenth-century Persian painter Bizhad--we only know that he worked in what is now Afghanistan and Iran, and that he was the first artist to sign his works. Jackal in the Garden imagines Bizhad as an astoundingly gifted dreamer and contrasts him with a strong female protagonist, Anubis, a girl born disfigured into the harem of her vicious father. She must fight for survival--and her struggle leads her to Bizhad and the artists’ colony he leads. Both philosophers, they find common ground. Yet their different attitudes offer a sharp, unusual commentary on life, survival, and art that will resonate with young adult readers seeking their place in the world.

• Award-winning author

• Multicultural story features a strong female protagonist

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In the eighth addition to the Art Encounters series that uses a painting as the jumping-off point for a young adult novel, Deborah Ellis takes as her inspiration Kamal al-Din Bihzad's painting A Meeting of Scientists for her novel Jackal in the Garden: An Encounter with Bihzad. Young Anubis, rejected by the harem in which her mother serves, takes refuge in an artist's enclave where she meets Bihzad, a miniaturist and instructor. In A Brush with Napoleon: An Encounter with Jacques-Louis David, Laban Carrick Hill similarly uses Jacques-Louis David's painting Napoleon Crossing the Alps at Saint Bernard as the starting point for his novel about a young French soldier who attempts to put the war behind him by working on his own artwork. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
VOYA - Brenna Shanks
In the Art Encounters novels, teens stumble upon great artists and are changed by the experience. Quality varies with authors, but each book includes a preface, a short essay on the artist's life, and a time line. Some also include further reading suggestions. Subjects and eras vary widely, as suggested by the books reviewed here. In Jackal in the Garden, a disfigured girl is born to a Muslim family in medieval Afghanistan. Rejected by most because of her appearance, Anubis, named after the Egyptian Jackal god, wanders the desert. Her travels eventually take her to the artist's colony where Bizhad paints his miniatures. Among these learned people, she is able to make friends who do not regard her with superstition. Her friendship with unworldly Bizhad changes both. In A Brush with Napoleon, seventeen-year-old soldier Jean is invited to become a sitter at David's studio. He struggles with class distinctions and politics but eventually finds his place as an apprentice. Both books have a good grasp of their setting and neither shrinks from the violence or injustices of their eras. Their covers display colorful reproductions of paintings central to the story. Beyond homework, teen appeal might be limited, but they are interesting and quick reads. Other titles in this series include Casa Azul: An Encounter with Frida Kahlo (Watson-Guptil, 2005), Smoking Mirror: An Encounter with Paul Gauguin (2005), and The Janus Gate: An Encounter with John Singer Sargent (2006).
Children's Literature - Kathleen Isaacs
Surviving abandonment in the desert and a childhood hidden among the women of the harem, Anubis kills her brutal father and flees back to the desert, murdering 5 other men before finding sanctuary in an artists' colony protected by the Persian miniaturist Bihzad and his friends, until she can grow to be a protector herself. Part of the "Art Encounters" series of young adult novels, this is a lovely recreation of a time of artistic splendor and intellectual ferment in the Islamic world, seen through the eyes of an outcast who makes her way equally well in the harsh desert and in the cushioned artists' world. Reflective and thought-provoking, the narrative moves at a leisurely pace, punctuated by moments of violence. The patient reader will learn a great deal about 16th century Persian life as well as the life and work of one of the most famous of all Persian illustrators, about whom, in fact, very little is known. The fiction is compelling and believable. Unfortunately, the only illustration is that on the cover (and the boards). After this splendid introduction a reader will surely want to know more about the art described, but will need to look elsewhere.
Kirkus Reviews
A baby girl born with a facial deformity is left to die in the dessert of Persia, but her mother, the number one wife in the harem, rescues the child. Nicknamed Anubis, or Jackal, the child grows up under her mother's protection, learning things no ordinary girl would know: reading, chess and swordplay. When her mother dies after one of her father's beatings, the Jackal flees the harem, but not before killing her father. In the dessert, Anubis continues her avenging ways, killing five men who raped and killed a woman they had abducted. Eventually, Anubis finds a safe haven in an artist colony where the famous miniaturist, Bihzad, befriends her. The bold misfit and the modest miniaturist teach each other about coping with the loneliness and sorrow of the world. Ellis creates an exotic atmosphere of sights, sounds, and tastes for her novel about a memorable, if anachronistic, heroine. (Fiction. 12-15)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823004157
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: Art Encounters Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 8.74 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Deborah Ellis won Canada’s Governor General’s Award in 2000 for her first book, Searching for X. She is also the author of several other books, including Parvana’s Journey, winner of the Jane Addams Award and the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award, given annually by the Ontario Arts Council and the Canadian Booksellers Association. She lives in Ontario, Canada.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2014

    This book is very touching i read this. It is great for Ages 11

    This book is very touching i read this. It is great for Ages 11 and up. I read this for 6th grade.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

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    Posted February 20, 2009

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