The Conference of the Birds
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The Conference of the Birds

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  542 ratings  ·  157 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)
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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...more
Neva
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...more
Angelina
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!
Edward Sullivan
Sis's breathtaking art brings new life to the 12th century Persian epic poem. Stunningly illustrated and beautifully designed.
Jacqueline
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...more
Ellie
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...more
Serena
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...more
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
Nikoleta
Остави ме без думи!
Но не, със сигурност ще я отбележа някъде.

"Захвърлете пристрастията си и жаждата за власт, освободете се от всичко скъпо."
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
Lindsay
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
Христо Блажев
Летежът на мечтите: http://knigolandia.info/book-review/p...

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...more
Audrey
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
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
Ann
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.
Elizabeth
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.
Alison
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!
Chairness
For me the visuals in this book are almost more thought provoking than the poems themselves as Peter Sis has done a wonderful job capturing the message with his imagery. Textured and intricate, the reader flies through quickly, but returns to reread each page mostly because there is not much to read but rather a lot to see. A picture book for the philosopher.
Marcia
This is a book to savor--each time you read it, there will be something new to discover. Visually gorgeous, rich and textured, Peter Sis retells an ancient Persian epic poem--and it's profound meaning still resonates today. This book was a farewell gift from beloved coworkers and I will remember to pull it off the shelf from time to time to treasure.
Jamila
This book is stunning. The pages have a linen-like texture, which is soothing and wonderful to touch. Sis's watercolor paintings and drawings are exquisite, emotional, and thought-provoking. Sis did a great job adapting Attar's poem and I appreciated the brief history provided about the original work.
Richelle
This book is absolutely beautiful! Not only are the illustrations themselves vibrant and colorful, but the story itself is uplifting and heartfelt. Even the pages are of the highest quality. This is a fantastic book to read again and again- as I certainly plan to do!
Monica Edinger
This IS for kids too. Spectacularly beautiful with an allegorical text that is accessible to children. This book was marketed only to adults, but it should have been for all ages. Find it, you-who-love-Sis's-other-children's-books.
Elizabeth
Illustrated poem by the author of some seriously intense picture books. The illustrations in this book (though) are pretty. And, the soft colors and simple font lend to a gentle reading experience.
Jessica Donaghy
Lovely story with evocative illustrations. Even the paper has great texture. A testament to the fact that some stories must be held in your hand (no matter how good digital books may get).
Jacqueline
Beautiful bookmaking. This is a collector's item.
Paul
Peter Sis' The Conference of the Birds

"Love loves difficult things."

Adaptation and allegory. Band of birds. Feathers and flight. Heart of humanity. Journey. Mystery and mysticism. Parables and proverbs energize and permeate the Persian epic poem. Parrots and peacocks and perils. Quest and quietude. Reluctance and resistance and rumination. Sand and sayings of Sufism. Wisdom writings.

"The heart here is still and quiet... holding many a mystery."

"We are just now at the beginning of our journey."...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...more
Rachel
I had never heard of this epic poem before reading this book, but I picked this up because I heard that the author/illustrator was coming out with this illustrated version, and it sounded intriguing. The original 4,500 word poem was written in 12th century Persia by Sufi mystic Farid Ud-Din Attar. Peter Sis named his poet in the story Attar after the mystic.

Attar, a poet, turns into a bird and confers a meeting of all the birds in the world to discuss the problems of the world. He believes that...more
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“When you feel empty, you have to open up your heart and let the wind sweep through it.” 6 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!”
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