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14 COWS FOR AMERICA by Carmen Agra Deedy Kirkus Star

14 COWS FOR AMERICA

By Carmen Agra Deedy (Author) , Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah (Author) , Thomas Gonzalez (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-56145-490-7
Publisher: Peachtree

Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah is about to return home, to a small village in Kenya. He has been studying to become a doctor in the United States. Amid a joyous homecoming, the children in the village ask if he has brought any stories. He has only one; one that has “burned a hole in his heart.” Naiyomah was in New York City on September 11. In gentle yet piercing present-tense prose, storyteller Deedy introduces readers to a young Maasai scholar who wants nothing more than to help a nation heal. In Maasai tradition, cows are sacred, and Naiyomah asks the elders to bless his cow so he can offer it to grieving Americans. In an incredible show of compassion and strength, other villagers join him. Fourteen cows in all, from one tiny Kenyan village, prove that hope and friendship can cross all boundaries. Gonzalez’s saturated paintings, glowing with oranges, reds and browns, radiate a warmth that is matched only by the Maasai’s generosity. A stirring, heartwarming tale that made headlines when it happened—and is now, thankfully, preserved on the page for children. (afterword) (Informational picture book. 4-8)