Arabian Nights: Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp

Tonight we reviewed the story of Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp in Tenggren’s Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights.

In this story my son asked if the magician figure in the illustrations was bad and I said yes he is the villan of the story.  When the magician opened the cave of wonders the rock would not stay open for long and my son wanted to know why.  I explained that the magic could not work for very long.  My son wanted to know why the magician wanted to have the lamp.  I told him there was something special in the lamp that he wanted.

When Aladdin saw the genii for the first time he wanted to know why the genii had feet and I said that I wasn’t sure why.

When Aladdin saw the princess my son wanted to know if the princess was in China.  I said yes she is.  He wanted to know why they were holding her up with bamboo and I said that it is called a palanquin.  He wanted to know why they were carrying her around in a palanquin and I explained that they did not have cars.

My son wanted to know if Aladdin was a boy and I said no he was a young man.

When we read about the father of the princess the story said he was an emperor and my son wanted to know what an emperor is.  I explained that an emperor is a king of other kings.  He wanted to know if this emperor was the king of all the other kings in China and I said probably he was.

This scene: Scheherazade tells the story of the palace that appeared out of thin air by the magic of the genii of the lamp.

My son then went to get our Scheherazade doll from the shelf because he wanted to see if the princess looked like Scheherazade.  We thought she looked similar but not exactly the same.

When the magician came and started selling new lamps for old my son wanted to know why he was doing that and I explained that he was hoping to get the magical lamp with the genii.

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the literature of the Muslim world.

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