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270 x 215mm


48 pages

Pub Date

Apr 4, 2018



Age 5+

Riding a Donkey Backwards

Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin

By Sean Taylor and Khayaal Theatre
Illustrated by Shirin Adl

A collection of 21 riotous tales and riddles about the Mulla Nasruddin.

Why does Mulla Nasruddin spoon yoghurt into the river? What is the reason he rides his donkey backwards? Why does he paint
a picture that is blank? And is he crazy to move into the house of the man who's just burgled him?

Discover the amazing antics of Nasruddin in these twenty-one hilarious stories and riddles, and decide for yourself, was he an idiot or a very wise man?



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"Muslim culture is portrayed in its richness without the text feeling like a cultural studies project, and the sheer warmth and playfulness of each little vignette gives an insight into the common ground in all cultures that humour breaks. Children and adults will find themselves laughing out loud at the Mulla’s antics. Highly recommended."


"Sumptuous...It's a collection of 21 tales and riddles about a trickster known across Muslim culture. The text feels modern, but the illustrations feel traditional. They are bright and welcoming, playful and intelligent."

Minerva Reads

"Jokes, riddles and wisdom in a riotous collection of classic tales starring a popular character from the Islamic world. Khayall Theatre is an award-winning company dedicated to the exploration of Muslim literature for stage, radio and screen."

The Bookseller


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Shirin Adl


Shirin Adl was born in the UK and brought up in Iran. A graduate and prizewinner in Illustration at Loughborough University, she has illustrated many books, often with a Middle Eastern theme or setting. She lives in Oxford.

Sean Taylor


Sean Taylor writes stories, poems and plays, and enjoys workshops and readings with children in schools and libraries. He has a special love of folktales. In Riding a Donkey Backwards, his selection and presentation of Mulla Nasruddin tales, Sean collaborated with Khayaal Theatre Company, which specialises in presenting the Muslim heritage, interfaith literature and the Muslim experience in the modern world.( Sean lives in Bristol, England. Learn more about Sean and his storytelling world at


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