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Mystery Bottle

by Kristen Balouch

Published by Hyperion, 2006
32 pages
ISBN: 0-7868-0999-X

Ages 4-8

When a Brooklyn boy receives a bottle in the mail, it sends him on an imaginary journey to visit his grandfather in Iran. The opened bottle emits a powerful wind that sweeps the boy across the ocean, over the mountains, and “through the city where my father was born […] into the arms of my Baba Bozorg.” There he shares tea and conversation with his grandfather, who tells the boy that he can return anytime he wants to visit. “Just open the bottle, and the wind will bring you to me.” A final note and the jacket flap copy describe how the author’s husband left Iran in 1978, a month before the Iranian revolution began. Years later, his father sent a package to his seven-year-old grandson in Brooklyn. Whimsical illustrations effectively use collage and map backgrounds to track the boy’s journey to his distant relative. Highly Commended, 2007 Charlotte Zolotow Award  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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