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"The Girl with a Brave Heart" written by Rita Jahanforuz, illustrated by Vali Mintzi.
"The Girl with a Brave Heart" written by Rita Jahanforuz, illustrated by Vali Mintzi./Handout

Israel’s singing sensation Rita, who was born in Iran, is trying to bridge the divide between the two countries who are sworn enemies. Last year a CD of songs the one-named wonder sang in Persian was a huge hit in Israel. This month marks the publication of her first children’s book, “The Girl with a Brave Heart” (Barefoot), with Matisse-like illustrations by Vali Mintzi. Rita Jahanforuz tells a tale with a poignant message: When people are sad and hurt, they do not always know how to ask for what they need and it is a wise girl who understands that.

JAN GARDNER