14 Vacas

40p. 978-1-56145-550-8.
Gr 2—5—What do a tribe in Africa, 14 cows, and the United States have in common? This book conveys the answer in a most wonderful way. When Kimeli returns to Kenya from the U.S. and metaphorically tells his people the story of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the Maasai want to help the big nation and freely give what is of supreme value to them. For the Maasai, "la vaca es vida," the cow is life. "Without the herd, the tribe would die of hunger." The story's rhythm and pace are unhurried, like an oral tale told in the voice of a master storyteller. Each element is introduced at the appropriate time: love, joy, sadness, disbelief, and ultimate generosity. The illustrations are done in vibrant colors but are never overwhelming. The individual faces are not sharply delineated, but the emotion is revealed in the people as a whole. This beautiful story will help youngsters see how truly connected we are as a human race. It is recommended for classes when trying to develop character as well as to teach children about empathy and compassion. There is a closing note by Kimeli Naiyomah, the real Kimeli of the story.—Verónica Corral, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC
With Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah. 14 Cows for America recounts the true story of Maasai villagers who made a gift of livestock, representing life, to the United States after the September 11th tragedy. This Spanish translation, accompanied by González's lovely color-saturated mixed-media illustrations, very ably renders the moving tale.
A strong testament to the idea that friendship, hope, and kindness can cross cultural and international borders. The story serves as an introduction to a rich culture that likely will be unfamiliar to many young readers. Carmen Agra Deedy fills her text with evocations of the Maasai’s sun-baked huts and vibrant ceremonies and dances. The landscape and people of western Kenya are beautifully represented in Thomas Gonzalez’s warm, panoramic illustrations. Gonzalez celebrates the traditional red clothing of the Maasai while casting an equally attentive eye to Kimeli Naiyomah’s Western dress.

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