Bahar, a young Persian girl, supports her mother and siblings by selling her rugs at the Grand Bazaar of Kashan.
One day Bahar is bathing at the hammam when she sees the chief fortuneteller’s wife walk in, “proud as a camel.” Imagining herself “wrapped in…riches of a fortune teller,” Bahar decides her weaving days are over and that her fortunetelling will rescue her family from poverty. Soon she is tasked with finding the king’s cat, and the mayor demands she find where the 40 thieves hid the king’s crown. If she doesn’t, she will be punished. Soon Bahar “misse[s] the peace and safety of weaving her rugs,” yet in humorous and improbable ways she is able to solve each task—but not without attracting the king’s attention as well as that of the jealous fortuneteller and his wife. With the help of happenstance and an “old Iranian proverb” she passes the last test and cements her lucky status. Kheiriyeh’s smudgy, stylized depictions of Bahar capture her happiness while weaving and her determination to be a great fortuneteller. Her color palette—reddish-orange, blue, and mustard-yellow—blends well together, adding richness to the setting. The noses of the chief fortuneteller and his wife are caricatured to the point of distraction, but the device does aid in their characterization.
A humorous tale woven from strands of Persian culture.(Picture book. 5-8)