"The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale" Wins 2013 Nautilus Silver Boo


12:53 22.04.20130

“The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale” has won the 2013 Nautilus
Silver Book Award in the Children’s Picture Book category (readers
3 to 6 yrs.). The tale is retold by Lucine Kasbarian, illustrated
by Maria Zaikina, and published by Marshall Cavendish (now Amazon
Children’s Books).

“The Greedy Sparrow” is an English-language retelling of a traditional
Armenian folk tale about a bird who travels the countryside, encounters
natives practicing traditional folkways, and gets a comeuppance for
his trickery. Author Kasbarian and illustrator Zaikina convey ethnic
authenticity in their adaptation of this tale from the Armenian oral
tradition. The NJ and MA-based Kasbarian is a children’s author
known for her book,”Armenia: A Rugged Land, an Enduring People,”
Moscow-based Zaikina is an illustrator beloved for her companion
animation to singer Hasmik Harutyunyan’s folk lullaby, Agna Oror.

“Witnessing near-annihilation and exile as a result of the Armenian
Genocide,” said Kasbarian, “my surviving grandparents felt that our
people might one day become extinct. From that grew a profound desire
to preserve as much of our culture as possible, such as our language,
songs, dances, cuisine and stories. While her infant children perished
in the death marches, my paternal grandmother managed to smuggle out
the deeds belonging to our family’s confiscated property.

Those were the only material possessions that made it to America.

Thus, non-material possessions, such as what was carried in memories,
become precious links to our identity and past. “The Greedy Sparrow”
tale was one such heirloom, and UNESCO calls such treasures part of
a people’s “intangible cultural heritage.”

“The Greedy Sparrow” was also named a 2012 Honor Book in the
Storytelling World Awards. It was inSchool Library Journal’s “Fuse
#8 Production” blog’s “100 Magnificent Children’s Books of 2011”
and in the Children’s Literature Network’s “Snipp Snapp Snute” blog’s
“Favorite Folktales published in 2011.”

The Nautilus Awards recognize books that promote positive social
change, spiritual development and conscious living as they stimulate
the imagination and inspire the reader to new possibilities for a
better world. Usually, one Gold and one or more Silver awards are
given annually in each of 24 Adult and 4 Children’s/Young Adult
categories. Formal announcements about all Nautilus Award winners
will be made in at BookExpo America (May 30-June 1) in New York City:


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