The Secret Message book is an illustration book mainly for children. It consists of a number of illustrations that convey a story. And, there is a moral in each story. It is an interesting book to read.

About the author:

Mina Javaherbin was born in Iran and has studied the literature, architecture, and history of Persia extensively. A poem by the ancient Persian poet Rumi was her inspiration for The Secret Message. This is Ms. Javaherbin’s second picture book released this year. Her first, Goal!, was reviewed this past summer on Book Dads.

Ms. Javaherbin lives and writes in California. You can visit her online at

About the illustrator:

Bruce Whatley is one of Australia’s best-loved and most respected author-illustrators, with more than fifty books to date, many of which earned special honors from the Children’s Book Council of Australia. His books include Diary of a Wombat, written by Jackie French, and the companion volumes The Secret World of Wombats and How to Scratch a Wombat. To make the acrylic paintings in this book, Mr. Whatley looked at photographs of Middle Eastern bazaars, and referenced traditional Persian costume and ornamentation.

The Secret Message Book Review

(Picture book: ages 6 – 10)

All day the bird sang of longing.
But the merchant would not let him go…

Alone, imprisoned in a golden cage, and far from the jungles of home, a parrot longs for freedom. Will he ever escape? Thanks to a secret mesage passed along by his friends in India, the parrot outwits his wealthy owner and soars to freedom.

Based on an ancient Persian poem, The Secret Message is a story of surprising cleverness, powerful solidarity, exotic travels, and a simple wish fulfilled. This enchanting tale, told with subtle humor and vibrant images, is a perfect introduction to the culture, literature, and history of the Middle East.

My take on the book:

This delightful tale is based on a story Mina Javaherbin’s father told her as a child. While studying Persian literature years later, she discovered this story, which she begged to hear every evening, was actually an ancient 13th-century poem by Rumi.

The Secret Message is a story about a rich merchant and his attractive parrot which is largely responsible for the merchant’s good fortune. One day after customers purchase all of the merchant’s goods, he rewards the parrot with a golden cage with three swings. Afterwards when the merchant decides to travel to India for more merchandise, the parrot asks him to relay news about the beautiful cage to any parrots the merchant encounters. What follows is the beginning of a crafty plan by the parrot to win his freedom from the golden cage.

Young readers will be riveted by the suspense of wondering what will happen to the beautiful parrot as well as mesmerized by Whatley’s stunning acrylic illustrations full of fun and interesting details sure to provoke young reader’s imaginations.

Bravo to Mina Javaherbin on the release of another exceptional picture book this year! I have become a big fan of the multicultural and philosophical elements of her stories and can’t wait to see what Ms. Javaherbin will treat us with next.

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