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The Merchant and the Thief: A Folktale from India
     

The Merchant and the Thief: A Folktale from India

by Ravi Zacharias
 

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When Raj left the room, Mohan tiptoed over to his belongings and searched hurriedly under Raj’s pillow. Again he found nothing.

Mohan longs for Raj’s treasure. He plots and he schemes and his plan seems perfect! But along the way, he discovers an important lesson about wanting what someone else has … and about the most important treasure of all.

Overview

When Raj left the room, Mohan tiptoed over to his belongings and searched hurriedly under Raj’s pillow. Again he found nothing.

Mohan longs for Raj’s treasure. He plots and he schemes and his plan seems perfect! But along the way, he discovers an important lesson about wanting what someone else has … and about the most important treasure of all.

From bestselling author Ravi Zacharias comes a retelling of a classic Indian folktale that teaches powerful truths about faith.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Prolific author and founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Zacharias (Can Man Live Without God?) retells an Indian folktale. Raj, a wealthy merchant, and Mohan, a poor seller of fruit and vegetables, live in the same town. Both have happy families, but Mohan is eaten up by envy of his wealthy neighbor. Mohan vows to follow Raj to market and steal his jewels. Under the guise of companionship, Mohan draws near to Raj. They travel together, and share rooms at night. Every night Mohan searches for Raj’s jewels but never finds them because Raj has hidden them the one place Mohan never looks. One day Raj confronts Mohan, saying he knows that Mohan wants his jewels. “When we have our eyes on other people’s treasure, we cannot see how close we are to the greatest treasure there is,” Raj says. God’s love makes you “rich on the inside,” he tells Mohan. Raj’s forgiveness restores Mohan’s faith in himself and he returns to his family a changed man. Fournier’s illustrations, inspired by her work in bronze sculpture, depict the landscape, architecture, and clothing of India with lush earth tones kissed by gentle highlights of yellow and blue. Ages 4–up. Agent: Wolgemuth and Associates. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—An earnest but envious man, Mohan resorts to petty theft to supplement his desire to be rich. To further his ambition, he decides to join a rich man on his travels and steal his jewels. But each night Mohan searches their room and comes up empty-handed. After a while, the rich man confides to Mohan that he has known his intentions all along and shows him that the treasure has been hidden each night beneath Mohan's own pillow. "When we have our eyes on other people's treasure, we cannot see how close we are to the greatest treasure there is." The treasure to which the man refers is the love of God. This time, Mohan returns home with the treasure of God's love in his heart. Exquisite illustrations highlight the lively marketplaces and stunning architecture of India in this tale of a wise merchant and a misguided thief. Bold colors outlined in fine pen-and-ink augment each page with great detail and intricacy. A simple story with an obvious Christian message, this adaptation of an Indian folktale is greatly enhanced by Fournier's art.—C. J. Connor, Campbell County Public Library, Cold Spring, KY
Kirkus Reviews
A canny merchant outwits a would-be thief trying to steal his jewels, then with help from the Bible gives him a greater treasure. First issued by a small publisher in 1999 with illustrations by Lad Odell, the story pairs wealthy Raj, on an annual journey to visit his family, and a light-fingered fruit seller, Mohan, who is bent on stealing his precious cargo. Though Mohan searches Raj's bags every night along the way, he finds nothing--because, as Raj at last reveals, he had been wise to Mohan's scheme all along and hid his jewels under Mohan's own pillow. "When we have our eyes on other people's treasure, we cannot see how close we are to the greatest treasure there is." Taking out a New Testament, Raj then explains that giving his life to Jesus will make him God's child, and the repentant thief returns to his own loving family, resolved to look to God for his future needs. Fournier's carefully detailed depictions of generic Indian street scenes and benign-looking figures in traditional dress give the explicitly Christian message, which Zacharias has tacked on to what he claims is an old parable, an unlikely but not impossible setting. Uri Shulevitz's Caldecott-winning The Treasure presents a more winning take on the original theme, but Christian educators may find a use for this repurposed version. (no source note) (Picture book. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780310716365
Publisher:
Zonderkidz
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
411,431
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Merchant and the Thief

A Folktale from India
By Ravi Zacharias

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2012 Ravi Zacharias
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-71636-5


Chapter One

In a small, crowded town in India, a wealthy jewel merchant lived with his wife and three children. The rich man's name was Raj, and he lived in a big, white house surrounded by an iron fence.

Raj lived a happy life with his family. In the evening hours, they would spread a mat on the floor and sit with their legs crossed beneath them. They ate hot, spicy meals using flat bread called chapatis to pick up their food.

A man named Mohan also lived in this small, crowded town. He did not have much money; he was a seller of fruits and vegetables. Every morning he woke up early and went to the market to buy the best produce he could find. He put everything into a big basket, lifted the basket onto his head, and carried it from house to house.

Mohan also had a lovely family, but he wished he could do more for them. His children did not often have the tasty foods that Raj's children had, and sometimes they were left a little hungry.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Merchant and the Thief by Ravi Zacharias Copyright © 2012 by Ravi Zacharias . Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Ravi Zacharias is President and Founder of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Their global outreach grew from humble roots in 1984 and includes fielding a team of itinerant speakers who operate from offices located around the world including the U.S., the UK, Romania, the Middle East, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Canada. The Hallmark of Ravi’s heart is his strong evangelistic and apologetic that manifests itself from a position of compassion.

Laure Fournier was born in Antibes, France. She studied at the Emile Cohl School of Art in Lyon, France, and later continued her studies at Swindon College in England. Since graduating, Laure has worked as a children's illustrator. She regularly travels to Africa to create bronze sculptures, which are the inspiration for her illustrations. She now lives in the south of France and works in the little village of Sauve.

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