Our Books

“The Magic of Reading” is an informative and entertaining video on the value of reading Teaching-Stories to children. It includes a presentation of The Boy Without a Name.

Hoopoe Books is an imprint of the nonprofit Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK) established in 1969. Through donations and grants and with the help of volunteers, we raise funds to print storybooks and ancillary items in Karachi and truck them to NGOs and government organizations serving children in need.

“These Teaching-Stories can be experienced on many levels. A child may simply enjoy hearing them; an adult may analyze them in a more sophisticated way. Both may eventually benefit from the lessons within.” —Lynn Neary All Things Considered,
 NPR News, Washington

We provide traditional Teaching-Stories from Central Asia and the Middle East collected from oral and written sources and retold especially for early readers by the author and educator Idries Shah. There are now ten beautifully illustrated books in this series for Pakistan, available in four language editions. The series has been commended by Western educators and psychologists, the Library of Congress, National Public Radio and other media for their universality and unique ability to foster social-emotional development, thinking skills and perception in children and adults alike. And because they are highly contextual, they are ideal for beginning and early readers of all ages: in elementary, middle and high schools, adult literacy and ESL classes.

Boys with Hoopoe books in their hands
Girls in Pakistan with the book Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Girls and boys in Pakistan reading Hoopoe Books

Hoopoe Books Are Available in Four Bilingual Editions

Although Pakistan’s national language is Urdu and their official language English, the majority of children’s primary languages are different.

Children whose primary language is not the language of instruction in school are more likely to drop out of school or fail in early grades. Research has shown that children’s first language is the optimal language for literacy and learning throughout primary school. (UNESCO, 2008a)

We provide wonderful stories that will foster a love of reading in children and give them a taste of what reading and learning can offer. For most young girls and boys these will be the first storybooks from which they learn to read and they are in the child’s own language.

If a child develops good reading skills in her native tongue, she can apply these skills when she learns to read a second language. Reading and comprehending good fiction and non-fiction in our own language first makes the task so much easier because we don’t have to struggle with a less familiar language, its vocabulary, sentence structure or written form, all of which are different. And the skills and pleasure of the reading habit itself transfers to the second language.*

*Krashen, S., 2004, The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research. Heinemann. Portsmouth.

Bundles of Hoopoe Books

Urdu-English Editions

Although the primary language of most children in Pakistan is not Urdu, it is their national language and English is their official language. Hoopoe provides these two key languages in a bilingual edition.

Urdu-English translation of The Farmer's Wife
Urdu-English translation of The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water
Urdu-English translation of The Silly Chicken
Urdu-English translation of The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal
Urdu-English translation of The Old Woman and the Eagle
Urdu-English translation of The Boy Without a Name
Urdu-English translation of The Man and the Fox
Urdu-English translation of Neem the Half-Boy
Urdu-English translation of Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Urdu-English translation of The Magic Horse

Urdu-Sindhi Editions

Education outcomes remain weak in Sindh. Inequities in access to education occur between districts, rural and urban areas, the poor and the non-poor, and between genders. Generally, girls in rural areas as well as boys and girls from households in the lowest income quintiles are at the highest risk of being out of school. (Global Partners for Education)

Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Farmer's Wife
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Silly Chicken
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Old Woman and the Eagle
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Boy Without a Name
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Man and the Fox
Urdu-Sindhi translation of Neem the Half-Boy
Urdu-Sindhi translation of Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Urdu-Sindhi translation of The Magic Horse

Urdu-Balochi Editions

Balochistan faces many challenges in the education sector including a large number of out-of-school children, high dropout rates, wide gender disparities in education indicators and poor quality of teaching and learning in the classroom. (Global Partners for Education)

Urdu-Balochi translation of The Farmer's Wife
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Silly Chicken
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Old Woman and the Eagle
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Boy Without a Name
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Man and the Fox
Urdu-Balochi translation of Neem the Half-Boy
Urdu-Balochi translation of Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Urdu-Balochi translation of The Magic Horse

Urdu-Pashto Editions

Around half of the total population of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are illiterate, including some 7 million people in the 9-39 age group. Less than 30% of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa women and girls in this age group are literate. Of the more than three million children not enrolled in basic education, nearly two million are girls. Poor education and other social indicators are troubling because Khyber Pakhtunkhwa plays a crucial role in the context of Pakistan’s peace and stability, due to its borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas. (Adam Smith International)

Urdu-Pashto translation of The Farmer's Wife
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Silly Chicken
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Clever Boy and the Terrible, Dangerous Animal
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Old Woman and the Eagle
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Boy Without a Name
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Man and the Fox
Urdu-Pashto translation of Neem the Half-Boy
Urdu-Pashto translation of Fatima the Spinner and the Tent
Urdu-Pashto translation of The Magic Horse

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