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  ·  Rating Details ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  213 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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Richard Derus
Aug 31, 2013 Richard Derus rated it really liked it
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
Ryan G
Jan 12, 2012 Ryan G rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2013 Neva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Бисери! В тази книга има думи, образи и идеи, които са скъпоценни и кротко бляскави като бисери, открити случайно и пазени завинаги. Разкошна е.
Mar 20, 2012 Ellie rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 04, 2013 Angelina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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!
Kathy Bieger Roche
Mar 19, 2012 Kathy Bieger Roche rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adults and children seeking meaning in life
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
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, разтвор
Feb 09, 2014 Nikoleta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Остави ме без думи!
Но не, със сигурност ще я отбележа някъде.

"Захвърлете пристрастията си и жаждата за власт, освободете се от всичко скъпо."
Nov 09, 2011 Serena rated it it was amazing
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)
Nov 02, 2011 Laura (booksnob) rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 24, 2012 Elizabeth rated it did not like it
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.
Edward Sullivan
Nov 26, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, art
Sis's breathtaking art brings new life to the 12th century Persian epic poem. Stunningly illustrated and beautifully designed.
Dec 28, 2015 Iliyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Apr 02, 2015 Lindsay rated it it was amazing
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
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Sep 18, 2011 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: TLC Book Tours
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
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
Jan 23, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing
Deep hidden meanings in this story about the quest for the meaning of life. All the birds of the world start out in a journey to find a king. As they pass through the 7 valleys of quest, love, understanding, detachment, unity, amazement, and death, the flock becomes smaller and smaller due to death, disenchantment, and many other human qualities that cause us to give up. In the end, only 30 birds complete the journey, and discover that the king lives in each of them. Extremely profound and thoug ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Audrey rated it liked it
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
Nov 18, 2011 Emily Crowe rated it really liked it
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
Oct 18, 2015 Wendy rated it really liked it
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
Momchil Dimitrov
Jun 15, 2016 Momchil Dimitrov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
На пръв поглед бях разочарован от обема на самата история. 3/4 от книгата да са илюстрации изглежда по-скоро като пълнеж.. еми не. Петер Сис нарочно в случая е автор, а не просто илюстратор, че как иначе - ако някой очаква да остане онемял само и единствено от напечатаните букви по-добре да си изнамери оригинала. Както при The strange library - пълна симбиоза м-у визуално изкуство и литература, което ме кефи ужасно много . Евала на Сис!!!
Nov 30, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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.
Pavel Beneš
Nov 16, 2013 Pavel Beneš rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
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.
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!
Mar 26, 2016 Mila rated it really liked it
This is a gorgeous book printed on textured paper that is a pleasure to touch. Peter Sis's art pops and really fits with his interpretation of the classic 12th century Persian epic poem of the same name (which I've not heard of before). As I was reading it, I didn't think it was a children's book (as most of his are) and I see from the description that it is meant for adults. Whew!
Jan 04, 2012 Chairness rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
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.
Jul 07, 2012 Marcia rated it it was amazing
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Bird King and Other Sketches
  • Girls Standing on Lawns
  • I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail
  • Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night
  • I, Too, Am America
  • Beastly Verse
  • The Moon Before Morning
  • Когато искам да мълча
  • I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery
  • Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics
  • Wanda Gág: The Girl Who Lived to Draw
  • The Black Book of Colors
  • The Littlest Pirate King
  • People
  • The Rime of the Modern Mariner
  • If Not for the Cat
  • In the Wild
  • The River
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.” 10 likes
“The seven oceans are drops of rain...” 2 likes
More quotes…