Many children daydream about being a detective or a spy sometime in their childhood. Sara Şahinkanat and Ayşe Inan Alican, with translation by Feyza Howell, have teamed up to create the perfect book to aid a ‘Miss Marple in the making’ or ‘Hercule Poirot hunting up either a hero or a hırsız (thief).’
The main characters in this book are ‘story hunters.’ They frequently go on secret missions that cause them to learn about Istanbul’s historic places as they solve mysterious cases. The story hunters have to beware code pirates, who dress in disguise, and don’t care about historic buildings or different cultures. The code pirates just want the double-secret coded messages!
Luckily, Sinan, a story hunter and his faithful dog, Explorer, have received a secret key to help them decipher codes. They set off through the historic Pera neighborhood in Beyoğlu to learn more.
Inside the back of every book is a secret key, that when held up to the secret codes in the book, will help young reader decipher codes with Sinan. Between the secret key and backwards-writing (that needs to be held up to a mirror for the real message to be revealed), children will have fun decoding, deciphering, and hunting down all of the Istanbul historic buildings and landmarks in the book as the story hunters unfold their story.
This is a delightful book for showcasing the myriad cultures that contributed to building Istanbul, layer upon layer – era upon era. It can’t help but build a love of history and culture in a child who delves into story hunting up and down Istiklal Caddesi on his or her ‘Beyoğlu Adventure.’ It would be fun to share with a child prior to a trip to Istanbul, or while growing up in Istanbul. Even without the prospect of experiencing the locations in ‘The Beyoğlu Adventure,’ this book could still create enchantment and a desire to go see Istanbul as a grown-up. Wonder is a powerful motivator!
So cleverly is this book put together that Ayşe İnan Alican’s illustrations for this book gained her a place on the 2011 IBBY Turkey Honour List, and ‘The Beyoğlu Adventure’ was named the Children’s Book of the Year in the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) Turkey Design Section. As readers, don’t forget to store the key in the storage pocket for a later session of story hunting on a secret mission.
Publisher: Yapi Kredi Yayinlari
Publication Date: Second Edition, 2013
Recommended for ages 8 and older
Sara Şahinkanat finished the Üsküdar American Academy for Girls diploma and at the Bosphorus University Department of Translation and Interpreting. After first working in translation, she moved to advertising. Her son Tan was born in 2001. The illustrated books she wrote originally to entertain him are now read to countless others. She has published ten different children’s books.
Ayşe İnan Alican obtained her degree in Graphic Design from Hacettepe University School of Fine Arts. She has drawn cartoons and illustrated and designed for many newspapers and magazines. She has illustrated over seven different children’s titles. She She lives in Ankara with her husband and daughter Yağmur.
Feyza Howell was born in Izmir, Turkey. She is a graduate of Robert College and holds a UK Honours degree in Graphic Design. She lives in the United Kingdom.