Joha makes a wish

by Drawrite

A Middle Eastern Tale. Adapted by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Omar Rayyan.

A curious looking turbaned man holding a weird looking stick, the book cover kind of invites you in to take a look. This folktale, originally from Yemen, is about Joha. On his way to Baghdad on a really hot day, he leaned rested against some ruins for shade. The ruins gave way revealing a jar with a wishing stick in it (there was a note accompanying it that told him so).

The rest of the story is about his adventures with the stick – how everything goes wrong initially, a vain arrogant greedy king, a wise man, a donkey and in the end, a content Joha!

The illustrations are very fluid, vibrant and capture the spirit of the story beautifully. The story is well adapted and the note from the author is well researched. The original tale is called “The Answered Prayer” and can be found in Sharlya Gold and Mishael Maswari Caspi’s The Answered Prayer and Other Yemenite Folktales.

This book is a must have!