The Boy Without a Name

The Boy Without a Name

5.0 3
by Idries Shah, Mona Caron

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A Sufi teaching tale of a boy without a name who visits a wise man and acquires both a name and a wonderful dream.


A Sufi teaching tale of a boy without a name who visits a wise man and acquires both a name and a wonderful dream.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Ostensibly based on a Sufi legend, this story concerns a boy whose parents are instructed not to name him when he is born. A wise man tells them, "This is a very, very important boy-and I am going to give him something marvelous one day, but I will have to give him his name first." After some years, the youngster goes with his friend Anwar to see the wise man, with the hope that he can exchange an unwanted dream for a name. The wise man selects the name Husni out of a magic box and gives it to the boy, who then puts his unwanted dream in another box. Then the two friends each take a turn choosing from a third box, which is full of wonderful dreams. "And after that, forever and ever, Husni had a name-and the two boys-always had wonderful dreams." End of story. The point of this narrative is, at best, elusive. What is so important about the nameless boy? What are readers to make of the boxes of names and dreams? The lively and colorful artwork evokes the Middle Eastern setting, but doesn't help to answer these questions. Perhaps an extensive study of Sufism would enhance readers' understanding, but it is doubtful that this book on its own will make much sense to children or the adults who read it to them.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Childrens Book Watch
In The Boy Without A Name, a young boy seeks and eventually finds his own name and is able to discard an old dream for a new and wonderful one. Highly recommended for personal, school and community library picturebook collections, The Boy Without A Name is an entertaining and thoughtful Sufi folktale which is wonderfully recounted by Idries Shah and marvelously illustrated with watercolor paintings by Mona Caron.
—Childrens Book Watch
From the Publisher
"A message of peace and happiness ... a satisfying bedtime story that will encourage pleasant dreams"
- Booklist.

"Un mensaje de paz y felicidad... Un satisfactorio cuento para la hora de dormir que animará sueños agradables"
- Booklist.

"Through repeated readings, these stories provoke fresh insight and more flexible thought in children. Beautifully illustrated."
- NEA Today - The Magazine of the National Education Association.

"A través de lecturas repetidas, estas historias promueven en los niños una nueva visión y flexibilidad mental. Bellamente ilustrados."
- NEA Today -La Revista de la National Education Association.

"The lively and colorful artwork evokes the Middle Eastern setting."
- School Library Journal

"... the religious significance is set aside in favor of a broader message of peace and happiness ... this is a satisfying bedtime story that will encourage pleasant dreams to drift into little ears."
- Booklist

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.10(d)

Meet the Author

Idries Shah spent much of his life collecting Sufi classical narratives and teaching stories from oral and written sources in the Middle East and Central Asia and publishing them in book form. The eleven tales he wrote especially for children are published by Hoopoe as beautifully illustrated books, all of which have been commended by Western educators and psychologists, the Library of Congress, National Public Radio and other media for their unique ability to foster social-emotional development, thinking skills and perception in children and adults alike. Told for centuries, these stories express universal themes and a positive representation of important but often misunderstood cultures, showing how much we have in common and what we can learn from each other. They acknowledge a child's individuality and uniqueness and encourage a sense of confidence, responsibility and purpose.

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The Boy Without a Name 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Exquisite! Idries Shah has written the most interesting books in the English language. The boy without a name has become my daughter¿s favorite book wonderful, wonderful strory!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 4-year-old got this book for her birthday and it's now her absolute favorite. This is the book she asks for it every night ¿ which makes her dad and me happy because we love reading it. Who knows why, but I do know that the books and stories I loved most as a kid were just like this one ¿ they invoked a sense of magic and fulfillment just beyond my everyday world that I knew in my heart of hearts I could aspire to. What more could we ask for in a book for our kids?