By Rosanne Hawke
Illustrated by Jasmine Berry
Reviewed by Sophia Evans
Pepper Masalah and the Giant Bird continues the journey of Pepper (a copper-eyed cat) and Zamir (a human). It begins with a quick recap so this book can be read as a stand alone if you haven’t read the other books in the series.
When Pepper is swooped off their magical flying carpet, Zamir is upset as the carpet won’t fly any more. Pepper has been stolen by a giant winged creature with blue feathers and a dog head. She is dropped in a nest with three eggs.
Parallel storylines follow Pepper and Zamir. Zamir is trying to rescue Pepper and find a way to fix the carpet. Pepper makes a new friend while stuck in this giant bird’s nest and is quickly reunited with Zamir. The three new friends work together to battle a vicious cobra who is trying to eat the giant bird’s eggs.
This magical adventure will be enjoyed by kids who like clever riddles and stories of friendship. The sentences are simple and form short chapters. Each chapter also includes beautiful black and white illustrations adding depth to the story. The book includes a glossary of Dari words from Afghanistan in the back of the book to help younger readers use the words.