Short Tales: The Sultan’s Perfect Tree

November 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

“The Sultan’s Perfect Tree” is another jewel from Jane Yolan’s library of modern fairy tales. A short story of about 16 pages, the book is about a beloved sultan who likes things to be just perfect. Orderly. Beautiful. Symmetrical. Perfect. In his mind, the perfectly shaped form, from the beautiful servants waiting on him down to the unblemished fruit served  on his golden platter, is the only form of life worthy of his consideration. However, this wouldn’t be a fairy tale if fate didn’t have other plans.

One autumnal day, a tree planted in the center of the Sultan’s symmetrically designed garden loses its leaves on one side because of a strong gust of wind. The tree, planted by the Sultan’s wise grandfather, is in his direct line of  vision, and so loses its perfection and and status. Thus begins the Sultan’s journey, in his quest to replace the imperfect tree with a perfect, albeit static, tree that can change with the seasons, to learn the true difference between perfection and imperfection. He is adroitly and subtly aided in his quest by a young serving girl who has not had the opportunity to become a perfectly behaved servant. Read that to mean one who can still think for herself and thus still has individualism, spunk and brains.

Illustrated by Barbara Garrison, The drawings are etched onto the pages, giving them a medieval, two dimensional feel reminiscent of mogul paintings from the sub-continent. Gentle splashes of color are spread throughout the paintings in an array of subdued tints creating a rather majestic and medieval presence. And the character’s expressions are so wonderfully expressive(!!!) that you smile each time you turn the page! Check out the library and see for yourselves!

sultan's perfect tree II

sultan's perfect tree I

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