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Cristina Kessler

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Member Since: Aug, 2000

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One Night: A Story from the Desert
by Cristina Kessler   

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Books by Cristina Kessler
· Trouble in Timbuktu
· The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela - A Tale from Africa
· No Condition Is Permanent
· My Great-Grandmother's Gourd
· Jubela
                >> View all

Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  Putnam Publishing Group ISBN-10:  0698116674 Type: 
Pages: 

32

Copyright:  January 1, 1998
Fiction

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In this picture book for older children, Muhamad spends his first night alone in the desert tending to a new mother goat and her kid. Told in Muhamad's voice, the story reflects the culture of the Tuareg, a nomadic people with strong ties to family and the desert way of life. Kessler's poetic text has rhythm and repetitionand Schoenherr's artwork is striking. --Booklist, boxed review This lovely book, with its descriptions of the desert terrain and bits of tribal wisdom, provides an informative glimpse at a distant lifestyle that will be useful in the classroom and as a read-aloud. -- School Library Journal

This book is currently only available as "Muhamad's Desert Night" published by Puffin UK. It is available on Amazon.co.uk.com or buy signed copies purchased directly from the author.

Cristina Kessler
cristinakessler.com

I taste the wind on my tongue
and feel the sun touch my heart
as finally I sit with my goats as they graze.
Yes, I am the wealthiest of boys.

The desert is my floor. The rocks, my pasture
where water gathers and little plants grow. There my goats can graze among the rocks.
"Be at one with your surroundings and you will be at peace," my grandmother always says.
"Al Hamdillilai!"




Professional Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
Clad in billowing blue robes, the nomadic Tuareg people travel the vast Saharan sands. Muhamad, a young Tuareg, leads a herd to graze each morning before dawn, marking his position by noting the acacia trees and termite hills. One evening he sees a goat laboring to deliver her first kid, and he knows he must stay with her, alone in the darkening desert, "for I must deliver safely all goats to my father." While he waits with his charge, he reminds himself of the wisdom of his elders, and he quietly realizes that his demonstration of duty is proof of his manhood. In a striking first-person voice, debut picture-book author Kessler's text mingles the proud self-assurance of the Tuareg with their reverence for Allah and nature. Schoenherr's (America Alive: A History) page-spread watercolors, with their deep-toned backgrounds and often spare images, evoke the cultural nuances of the "blue people"-and the space and pace of life in a landscape that stretches beyond national boundaries. Resonant and stirring. Ages 4-8.

From School Library Journal
Grade 1-6 Muhamad, a boy of the nomadic Tuareg tribe, tells of the night he slept alone in the desert with his herd awaiting the birth of a goat's kid. He has incorporated the wisdom he has gained from his grandmother's proverbs into his life and thoughts and has earned the woman's praises; his father is teaching him the ways of manhood, taking pride in his intelligence and courage. Muhamad's narration detailing the beliefs and daily customs of his people is set against Schoenherr's double-page...

Booklist
Ages 6-9. In this picture book for older children, Muhamad, a young boy of the nomadic Tuareg people of North Africa, becomes a man when he spends his first night alone in the desert tending to a new mother goat and her kid. Told in Muhamad's voice, the story reflects the culture of the Tuareg, a nomadic people with strong ties to family and the desert way of life. Kessler's poetic text has rhythm and repetition, as Muhamad repeatedly praises Allah, "Al Hamdillilai!," for making him "the wealthiest of boys." Schoenherr's artwork is striking, with vivid double-spreads contrasting the brightness of the sun on the yellow sand with the peacefulness of the desert under the moon. Kessler based Muhamad on a young boy of the same name she met while spending time with the Tuareg, a people who, she explains, are now threatened because of their nomadic ways.


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