Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Conference of the Birds” as Want to Read:
The Conference of the Birds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Conference of the Birds

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  793 ratings  ·  183 reviews
Celebrated children's book author and illustrator Peter Sís creates his first book for adults, a beautiful and uplifting adaptation of the classic twelfth-century Sufi epic poem, The Conference of the Birds. In The Conference of the Birds Caldecott Honor-winning children's book author and illustrator Peter Sís breathes new life into this foundational Sufi poem, revealing ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 27th 2011 by Penguin Press (first published 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Conference of the Birds, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Conference of the Birds

The Wall by Peter SísThe Conference of the Birds by Peter SísThe Tree of Life by Peter SísKomodo! by Peter SísStarry Messenger by Peter Sís
Best of Peter Sis
2nd out of 36 books — 4 voters
Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris WareAsterios Polyp by David MazzucchelliBuilding Stories by Chris WareHere by Richard McGuireThe Frank Book by Jim Woodring
Best Art Comics of All Time
104th out of 265 books — 32 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,978)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: In The Conference of the Birds Caldecott Honor-winning children's book author and illustrator Peter Sís breathes new life into this foundational Sufi poem, revealing its profound lessons.
Sís's deeply felt adaptation tells the story of an epic flight of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh. Drawn from all species, the band of birds is led by the hoopoe. He promises that the voyage to the mountain of Kaf, where Simorgh lives, will be perilous and many bi
Бисери! В тази книга има думи, образи и идеи, които са скъпоценни и кротко бляскави като бисери, открити случайно и пазени завинаги. Разкошна е.
Ryan G
If I ever had a reason to ban ereaders for all of eternity, it would be this book. Peter Sis' adaptation of Farid ud-Din Attar's epic, 4500 plus line poem, The Conference of Birds, uses some of the most gorgeous images I've ever had the privilege to behold. The images some in simple hues, others in sumptuous colors, leap off the page and tell the story more than the words.

I was not familiar with the poem before this, and what little of it I have experienced by reading this adaptation, makes me
This is a beautifully illustrated version of what I can only say is a breath-taking 12th century Persian poem that follows a flock of birds as they set off on a quest to find the true king, Simorgh, and in doing so they find something far better. The poem itself is superbly written and really takes the reader away while the illustrations that Sis has put to the pages of this book and the words of the poem are simply beautiful and utterly inspiring. Even as an adult I found myself stretching my w ...more
Beautiful, just beautiful!
This is a profound and touching story inspired by an old 12th century Persian epic poem, accompanied by incredible illustrations! If you love birds and freedom, this is the book for you!
If I could point at anything that has brought me joy recently, any single object, it's this book. Joy for the amazing new drawings by Peter Sis. Joy that an important old Persian poem makes an appearance in a contemporary adaptation. For the sensual touch of beautiful paper. It's something to be owned, and placed next to Shaun Tan's Arrival on your shelf of most beautiful books. Simple and fluid, the images give depth to the heights of the wisdom of this medieval parable about birds in search of ...more
Kathy Bieger Roche
When I first got my hands on The Conference of the Birds, I read it immediately, twice. This book demands, deserves and rewards thorough re-reading, so I slept on it for a few days, then spent a long time exploring and examining its detail. I will undoubtedly find more to discover every time I look at it for the rest of my life!

It's astonishing how Peter Sis were able to conceive and execute this book based on the Persian 4,500 line epic poem by Farid Ud-Din Attar, written in 1177. Sis’s pithy
Edward Sullivan
Sis's breathtaking art brings new life to the 12th century Persian epic poem. Stunningly illustrated and beautifully designed.
С тази книжка се сблъсках случайно в едно кафене, докато си чаках кафето. Улови ме с прекрасните корици, задържа ме с очарователните илюстрации, спечели ме окончателно с посланията- в общи линии, накара ме изцяло да забравя за какво бях дошла.

Единственото ми разочарование е, че полетът на птиците ми се стори твърде кратък.

„Той е толкова близо до нас, колкото далече сме ние от него.“

„Ако видите мнозина тук, те всъщност са малцина...ако изобщо има някой.“

„Когато чувстваш празнота, разтвори сърц
The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis, an acclaimed children’s author and illustrator, has taken his skills to a 12th century Sufi epic poem of the same name written by Farid ud-Din Attar, who was not only a poet but a mystic. Often these types of poems have a hidden spiritual meaning, and Sis deftly captures the essence of Attar’s poem with illustration.

In this illustrated version of the epic poem, the pictures speak for the poet, Attar who wakes from a dream to realize he’s a hoopoe bird. O
Laura (booksnob)
This is the first time I have ever read or heard of the Persian epic poem, The Conference of the Birds. This version of the poem is a visual masterpiece. The words are sparse but the artwork speaks volumes. The story begins when Attar dreams he is a hoopoe bird and calls a gathering of all the birds in the world. At the bird conference he tells them to look at all the troubles in the world and proposes a solution. The birds must go to find the true king, Simorgh, who has all the answers but he l ...more
Остави ме без думи!
Но не, със сигурност ще я отбележа някъде.

"Захвърлете пристрастията си и жаждата за власт, освободете се от всичко скъпо."
Reviews about this book are glowing. I get that the artistry is beautiful and respect the poetry. Even the symbolism of freedom and solving our own problems is good. However, my rating is based on something I recently learned from the book "The Happiness Project"...Don't pretend to enjoy something just because you think you are supposed to. So if I am honest with myself and everyone else, this book is a little too artsy fartsy for me.
True story: I checked out the actual Persian poem from the library, but didn't get through it in time before it had to be returned. This picture book is not a great substitute for reading the poem itself (which is very, very long), and the way some of the passages are distilled into single-sentence messages obviously means context and connecting tissue is lost -- BUT, the book is a lovely object in its own right; the art is gorgeous, and there's plenty to think about with these birds going on a ...more
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

A lovely hardbound book that is mostly art and a bit of written poetic philosophizing. It’s a rendition of a twelfth-century Sufi poem and is done in predominantly fall colors with a mix of ancient and modern styles.

About: A conference of birds is led on a quest by a poet who has turned into a hoopoe bird after a disturbing dream. Gathering them together, he wishes to know the reason for all the wrongs in the world and a way to change them. But to do s
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Like everyone else who has touched this book, the first thing I'm going to gush about is just how ridiculously gorgeous it is. It's a treat to hold, a very visceral reminder to any reader of the magic contained in books. Sís' first book for adults brought out in me that feel of anticipation upon opening a book, breathless at the wonders contained, hopeful and excited. I was acutely aware of reading a book because I literally stroked the pages (the paper is textured); I poured over every image, c ...more
Noted children's book artist and author, Peter Sis, has released his first book for adult audiences with a brilliant adaptation of the epic poem, The Conference of the Birds, by the 12th century Sufi poet, Farid ud-Din Attar. This poem begins with the poet transforming into the hoopoe bird and determined to unite the world of warring birds in an exodus to the mountain of Kaf. The Simorgh, the true king of the birds, lives there and will be able to answer all of the birds' questions. Though at fi ...more
Elizabeth A
This is essentially a picture book; an illumination of the twelfth-century Persian epic poem that tells the story of a flock of birds in search of the true king, Simorgh, who lives on the mountain of Kaf.

I read someplace that this was a classic poem, but I had not heard of it before, and did not particularly love it. But oh the art. The art is simply stunning. Each and every page would make a wonderful poster or card. This book is worth picking up just to soak up the art.
Христо Блажев
Летежът на мечтите:

В последния ден на 2013 г. държах да представя книга, която е нещо специално – обичайно търся нещо солидно, но преди дни долетя неочаквана творба. “Птичият събор” на Петер Сис пряко кореспондира със скорошен мой спор с близък приятел – и е абсолютното доказателство в моя полза: че книгите, с които едно издателство се гордее най-много, почти никога не съвпадат с пазарните хитове. А съм сигурен, че дори изпращайки една изключителна годин
Sarah T.
Wow. This book is a work of art! It's a re-telling of a Persian, epic poem about the birds' search for their king. It's insightful and quotable. The illustrations are beautiful and the paper used in the book is TEXTURED! So, not only is it a joy to look at but also to touch and handle (not many books can claim that characteristic)! What a lovely, quick read!
Bistra Ivanova
Страшно красива и одухотворена книга, прочетена на глас в прекрасната нова денонощна читалня/книжарница/кафене Перото -
тази книга е медитация - страшно красива.
3+ stars? Gorgeous illustrations. The story is introspective and metaphorical to the yin yang, and I'm not sure if my brain is smart enough to get all of it. However, I liked it overall, and the pretty pictures definitely helped. Both the detailed illustrations themselves and the product design - from the size of the illustrations to the very textured and tactile heavy paper used - combine to make this a lovely book. It makes me curious to read some yaoi manga, to be honest, even though I've nev ...more
Ана Хелс
Това е една от най-странните книги, до които сте се докосвали в живота си. Не мога да я нарека роман, или приказка, или поема – текстът е не основата, а само допълнителен художествен елемент върху илюстрациите. Които са смисъла, душата и тленността на това красиво книжно тяло. Не, не е комикс, или графичен роман, или книжка с картинки, или каквото там мислите , че трябва да се нарече една купчинка хартия, в която шареното мастило е повече от печатните думи. Може би е най-уместно да го наречем по ...more
I tend to judge a book by its cover not bothering to read the description stating what it's about. Sometimes it results in feelings of bewilderment or loathing inwhich I only have myself to blame and other times I may feel content for discovering a peice of work that might have remained unknown to me.

This book, The Conference Of The Birds falls somewhere in the middle. I neither loved nor hated it. I just felt indifferent. I wasn't sure if this was meant to be a childrens book that someone hapha
Emily Crowe
This book is gorgeous! The production quality for this book is amazing, considering it's from a large trade publisher and not privately produced, including the full color art reproductions and the weight of the paper. Sis (pronounced like "cease" and not like the abbreviation for "sister") has turned his considerable talent toward an adult audience for this book, complete with his interpretation of the original Conference of the Birds poem from medieval Persia--in fact, a Sufi poem if memory ser ...more
Pavel Beneš
Tuhle knížku kreslil v době, kdy jsem se za ním v New Yorku zastavil. Žádná knížka nedokáže reprodukovat ty nádherný velký ilustrace, které tam tehdy vznikaly. Ale protože naprostá většina čtenářů do ateliérů podobně šikovných lidí jaktěživo nevkročí, rád jim prozrazuji, že i tak jsou Petrovy knihy nádherné a stojí za to je mít. A jednou za čas s nimi zajít do malostranské Zelené čajovny a tam si je nechat od Petra podepsat. Dělá k podpisu takové hezké kresbičky...
I wasn't sure at first when I first started even though it is Peter Sis. By the end, I was convinced. The paper is unique for this book and it gave the artwork and pages texture so that I had to feel the pages as I read. It is obviously carefully constructed by Sis. I love how Sis says he loves drawing birds of all kinds-make sure you read the end where it describes the inspiration for the story. This book is like a lesson in illustration.
Absolutely stunning. This is a brilliant piece of literature and art that is being published for adults but would be great to use with students in middle school and high school. Its many messages -- about hope, determination, and moving beyond your faults and doubts -- will strike a chord with a wide variety of readers, and Peter Sis's imaginative, detailed illustrations are truly a wonder. BEAUTIFUL!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Bird King and Other Sketches
  • I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail
  • Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
  • I, Too, Am America
  • If Not for the Cat
  • The River
  • The Black Book of Colors
  • Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics
  • Girls Standing on Lawns
  • The Moon Before Morning
  • The Rime of the Modern Mariner
  • I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery
  • Когато искам да мълча
  • In the Wild
  • People
  • Seen Art?
  • Shadow
  • A Few Blocks
PETER SÍS is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, filmmaker, painter and author. Born in 1949 in Brno, Czechoslovakia, and grew up in Prague. He studied painting and filmmaking at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and the Royal College of Art in London. His animated work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. He came to America in 1982, and now lives in New York’s Hud ...more
More about Peter Sís...

Share This Book

“When you feel empty, you have to open up your heart and let the wind sweep through it.” 9 likes
“The sorrow bird: We've gone too far. I'm afraid we can't go back.

Hoopoe: Back?... There's a circle, bird. Why, just think of the phoenix. He lives alone for more than a thousand years acquiring great wisdom and when it's his time to go, he gathers leaves around himself, spreads his wings, and starts a fire - a new phoenix is born from his ashes. We're going forward, bird!”
More quotes…