This is an unusual visual slant – literally – on a well-known Aesop’s fable, although the story itself is one that goes back much further and has many cultural variants around the world. Indeed the global nature of the story is reflected in the illustrative perspective Mahni Tazhibi uses.
Bored with looking after his father’s sheep on the hillside, a young boy decides to create a diversion by claiming that a wolf has designs on the sheep. Greatly amused at the worried response of family and neighbours, he does the same thing over and over. Then one day there really is a wolf looming large over the hill – a wonderfully menacing one as depicted by Mahni Tazhibi – and then of course, nobody responds to his cries for help. Inevitably, the sheep become a tasty meal for the wolf leaving a foolish boy to face the wrath of his father, no doubt and, one hopes, learn a lesson from his folly..
It’s good to see a new independent publisher emerging and bringing some exciting new talents such as the Iranian artist who has illustrated this book so wonderfully in a fresh, a three dimensional fashion. I particularly like the textured nature of the scenes built up through the use of patterns, swirls, lines and hatching within the dense blocks of colour and the use of shadows to enhance the stand out effect. Making the whole thing an exciting pictorial experience. I look forward to seeing more from this artist and from Tiny Owl.