Thursday, March 24, 2011

"14 Cows for America" by Carmen Agra Deedy

"14 Cows for America"
Written by Carmen Agra Deedy, Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
In Collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah

About a week ago I received an email from Peachtree Publishers thanking me for reviewing a book (via NetGalley) a couple of weeks ago
here. In addition to thanking me, they said they would like to send me one of their books free of charge and this is the book they sent me!

In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya.

An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed upon the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unexpected as it is extraordinary.

A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.

Word of the gift will travel newswires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope—and friendship.

Master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. An afterword by Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah—the Maasai warrior at the center of the story—provides additional information about his tribe and their generous actions. Thomas Gonzalez’s stunning paintings, which are saturated with rich hues of oranges, browns, blues, and greens, capture the modest nobility of the Maasai people and the distinctive landscape of the African plain.

To read more about the story and learn more about the publisher please click on the following links:

You can follow this book on Twitter too, for daily words of wisdom, opportunities to promote compassion in your community, and special giveaways!

This book can be purchased at a bookstore near you and online with Amazon.

My thoughts...
In this beautifully illustrated book, the main character, Kimeli comes to visit his old village, his family, and his people.

News travels very slow in their part of the world, and he tells the story of September 11th, 2001 (9 months after it occured). He was in New York and witnessed first hand the horrible events that happened that day. The elders of the village, along with Kimeli decide they want to donate/bless 14 cows in honor of the American people. Based on a true story, this book puts what happened into pictures and words for young readers ages second grade and up.

The story itself really doesn't go into great detail of what they do for the cows, only that they want to bless 14 cows. The village treats their cows just like their children - they treat them with kindess, love and even give them each a name. So by blessing these 14 cows (it discusses what happened to the cows at the back of the book) they will never be slaughtered...they are a symbol of hope from the Maasai to America.

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?
I don't think anyone will ever forget where they were "when the world stopped turning". I was a senior in highschool, in my college Algebra class (hour 1)...I remember not being able to stop crying. I remember my drive home and seeing the gas stations raise their prices. I remember watching the news all day long at school and watching the two towers being hit with the planes. I remember worrying about what this meant for our country...and now almost ten years later, we are still fighting this never ending war. Where were you?

In my last review with this publisher, I challenged myself to see if I could find some more children's books that discussed the devastating attacks on September 11th, 2001. Since graduating from college and having the opportunity to teach (regular & subbing) grades pre-K thru sixth grade, I am always on the look out for books that teach children what happened on this day.

I decided that Amazon would be a great place to do most of my research and here are some more books (click on the name of the book to learn more) that I found that discuss 9.11.2011:

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers

September Roses


The Little Chapel That Stood

The Day That America Cried

September 12th: We Knew Everything Would Be All Right

On That Day: A Book of Hope for Children

What Will You Do for Peace? Impact of 9/11 on New York City Youth

New York's Bravest (This one is about firefighters, not 9/11)

Just a side note - I have never read any of these books listed above discussing 9/11, so if you read them, please leave a comment and tell me what you think!

As a parent, a teacher, a book lover, and an American...I strongly believe there needs to be more books that teach our children about natural and man made disasters. These picture books provide a way for parents/teachers to share with their children/students what life was like for a particular country, family, child, animal or any given main character. It allows the child to understand in some shape or form why something like this happened, and how we as human beings have the power to stand together and help one another in all times of need.

I personally do not know how I will share what happened on September 11th, 2001; Katrina, or the most recent Japan tsunami disaster, with my family. I just hope that someday I will have the strength and compassion to help them understand why it happened, and how it affects everyone around them, including who they will become in the world they grow up in.

Thank You so much to the publishers at Peachtree for sending me this amazing book!Take care and I look forward to reading more books from you in the future!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR

No comments:

Post a Comment