Monday, January 25, 2010

The Storytellers - Ted Lewin

Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1998
32 pages
For grades 1-4
My rating: 4
Endpapers: The city of Fez, surrounded by palms and mountains.
There's a glossary of Arab words and pronounciations.

Set in the city of Fez in Morocco, this story leaves us with a wonderful sense of what it might be like there - so very different from what American kids might be used to -- mules pulling wagons on the skinny streets of the marketplace, craftsmen performing their tasks for all to see --- we smell the smells (some unpleasant) and see the sights. Beautiful carpets. A walled city. Moroccon dress. And we wait to discover where Abdul and his grandfather are going.

Abdul's grandfather is a storyteller. They let their white pigeon fly free, and when it returns it "brings a story from the sky." The gathering crowds drop coins onto the carpet where the storyteller and his grandson sit and listen attentively to the stories.

This is based on something Ted Lewin witnessed when he and his wife were on a trip to Fez.

This is a superb look into the eveyday lives of another culture in our world.

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