The Shahnameh is a collection of stories and myths from ancient Iran, filled with kings, heroes, princesses, magical animals and demons. Written as an epic poem by the poet Ferdowsi in the 10th century, it is one of the great classics of Persian literature. The tales include the Simurgh, the giant bird who brings up an orphaned king in her nest on a craggy rock, wicked King Zahhak with his man-eating snakes, and above all the story of the great hero Rustam and his son Sohrab. Elizabeth Laird is passionate about bringing this great epic poem to the children of western cultures, as well as retelling it for Iranian children living in the West.
Elizabeth Laird is the renowned author of Kiss the Dust, The Garbage King and A Little Piece of Ground. She has been shortlisted five times for the Carnegie Medal. She has a longstanding interest in Persian literature and has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East. Her other books for Frances Lincoln are Pea Boy: Stories from Iran, A Fistful of Pearls: Stories from Iraq, and The Ogress and the Snake: Stories from Somalia. Elizabeth divides her time between London and Edinburgh. SHIRIN ADL was born in Harlow, England, in 1975. She received a first class BA honours in illustration from Loughborough University, and won the Hallmark M&S division Talented Designer Award. She currently lives in Oxford with her husband.