The Brave Little Parrot

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"Believing that 'stories must present renewed relevance for each generation,' author Rafe Martin wisely reinterprets the traditional ending and some of the messages along the way to inspire twenty-first-century children (and parents). The illustrations are created in the way of the Pahari School of miniature painting. 'Instead of drawing something once,' artist Demi explains, 'I would draw it a hundred times until it seemed to come alive and run across the page.' The cumulative effect in this children's book is a fresh, relevant, moving take on an old wisdom tale."—Bonnie Nadzam, Lion's Roar

“Children will celebrate the brave little parrot’s victory and ask for this story again and again. It’s a wonderful choice for reading aloud.”Booklist

Rafe Martin’s lyrical retelling brings to life an inspiring tale from ancient India that will speak to today’s readers. Today, as rain forests burn, this old tale of doing the one little thing you can takes on special meaning . . . An author’s note explains that jataka tales based on the past lives of the Buddha have been told and retold for 2500 years. This is an elegant continuation of that tradition.”Publishers Weekly


Rafe Martin Demi

Winner of the 2023 NYC Big Book Award for Childrens-Inspirational books!

How can you save a burning forest with just sprinkles of water? This timeless Buddhist tale may just have the answer!

In this ancient tale of one of the Buddha’s past lives, the Buddha is born as a little gray parrot who takes it upon herself to save her beloved forest home from a raging fire.

Even though she can only sprinkle drops of water onto the blaze . . .

. . . her perseverance, courage, and compassion change everything, eventually saving the forest in an unexpected way.

Zen teacher and acclaimed storyteller Rafe Martin is joined by the award-winning illustrator Demi to render this centuries-old classic into a beautiful and timeless tale that will inspire all of us to find our own bravery and to act selflessly for the benefit of all.

Discover Rafe Martin’s other books here.

Explore Demi’s other books here.

book information
  • Hardcover
  • 32 pages, 11.5 x 10 inches
  • $22.95
  • ISBN 9781614298458
  • ebook
  • 32 pages
  • $14.99
  • ISBN 9781614298670
about the author
The Brave Little Parrot

Rafe Martin is the author of over twenty award-winning books for adults, children, and young adults. He is also a lay Zen teacher in the Harada-Yasutani koan line and founding teacher of Endless Path Zendo, Rochester, NY. A personal disciple of Roshi Philip Kapleau (Three Pillars of Zen) and the editor of Roshi Kapleau’s final two books, he later trained with Robert Aitken Roshi, completing the Diamond Sangha koan curriculum and receiving inka (authorization to teach) from Danan Henry Roshi, a Kapleau lineage teacher and a Diamond Sangha (Aitken line) Dharma Master. Rafe’s books have been cited in TimeNewsweekThe New York Times, and USA Today. He is the recipient of the Empire State Award for his body of work, as well as multiple ALA Notable Book Awards and Storytelling World Awards. He has spoken at such events and places as the Joseph Campbell Foundation Festival of Myth and Story, The American Museum of Natural History, The Freer Gallery/Smithsonian, the National Storytelling Festival and International Storytelling Institute, the American Library Association Annual Conference, The American Booksellers Annual Conference, many Zen and Dharma Centers around the country, and numerous literary and storytelling festivals. His writings have appeared in Buddhadharma, Tricycle, Lion’s Roar, The Sun, Zen Bow, Inquiring Mind, Parabola, and other journals of note. and


Other books by Rafe Martin:
The Banyan Deer
Before Buddha Was Buddha

The Brave Little Parrot

Demi is the award-winning author and illustrator of over 130 bestselling children’s books, including The Empty Pot, Jesus, BuddhaThe Dalai LamaOne Grain of RiceThe Boy Who Painted Dragons, and The Legend of Saint Nicholas. For Wisdom Tales Press, she has written and illustrated Saint Francis of Assisi and The Fantastic Adventures of Krishna and illustrated The Conference of the Birds (retold by Alexis York Lumbard), The Pandas and Their Chopsticks: and Other Animal StoriesMahavira: The Hero of Nonviolence by Dr. Manoj Jain, and a children’s biography of Abraham Lincoln titled President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House. Demi’s most recent books for Wisdom Tales are Gifts of Our Lady of Guadalupe: Patroness of Latin America, and Talking to God: Prayers for Children from the World’s Religions. Her latest, Hildegard of Bingen: Scientist, Composer, Healer & Saint, is another glowing picture-book for children, this time about a multitalented woman who was a mystic, abbess, scientist, doctor, composer, author, linguist, and artist, whose influence has extended throughout the centuries since her death.

Demi’s books have sold over half a million copies and her work has been appreciated by many diverse people across the globe, such as the Dalai Lama and the Pope. The Empty Pot, her best-selling title, was selected by former First Lady Barbara Bush as one of the books to be read on the ABC Radio Network Program Mrs. Bush’s Story Time, sponsored by the Children’s Literacy Initiative. Demi’s book Gandhi was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.

Other books by Demi:
The Secret of the Sand Castles
I See You, Mara!
I See You, Buddha
The Illustrated Lotus Sutra

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