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Cristina Kessler

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Member Since: Aug, 2000

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My Great-Grandmother's Gourd
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
· One Night: A Story from the Desert
· Jubela
                >> View all



Publisher:  Orchard Books ISBN-10:  0531302849


Copyright:  2000

This illustrated children's book, set in a traditional Sudanese village, tells the true story of a grandmother who teaches her granddaughter the wisdom of combining old and new technologies.


 This book is included in the Childrens Literature Lovers Book of Lists. This unique book is written for teachers, parents, librarians and anyone who is seeking quality literature for children (preschoolers through grade 6). The book is filled with wide-ranging lists of titles organized by grade level, theme, and content areas. This comprehensive resource simplifies your search by selecting the most useful information from websites, teacher resources, award listings, and publications that are available on children’s literature. For quick access and easy use, the lists are printed in full-page format and organized into five sections.   


Grandmother took my hand and placed it on the ancient bark of the giant trunk. She didn't say a word but her sadness was loud.
"Tell me Grandmother, what makes you so sad?" I asked as I looked deep into her eyes. "Is it the pump? Don't you like it?"
With tired eyes she looked at me and said, "The rains are nearly here, and still no one works to prepare the trees. All the years of my life, drumbeats wiould fill the village, and voices would sing and chant as we all worked together. But now there is only the creak, creak of metal. And no one works together, or works at all, to prepare the trees."
Gently patting the trunk she said, "I always called this my great-grandmother's gourd. The name my grandmother called it. And the name her grandmother before her."
I smoothed the towb around her wrinkled face and said, "But Grandmother, we don't need the trees. The days of storing water in the trees is past."
She let go of my hand.
"Grandmother," I said, "that was then and this is now."

Professional Reviews

*Africana Honor Book Award 2001, African Studies Association

*A Junior Library Guild Selection, 2000

*Nest Literary Classics Selection, 2001

*"A Few Good Books of the Year" Book Links, 2000

"This is a lyrically told story with cultural patterns woven gracefully into the text...Another intirguing story from a longtime resident of the continent. Included are a helpful author's note and a glossary for the few Arabic words used in the text." (Boxed review, Booklist)

School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-A delightful story about keeping old traditions while accepting those that are new. The people of a Sudanese village are excited about a shiny new water pump. Never again will they have to use old methods for getting water-or so they think. Fatima's grandmother, however, remembers how people relied on storing water in the baobab trees in the past, and she is determined to prepare her tree before the rains come, despite the ridicule of her neighbors. Then, one day, the pump breaks and the villagers appreciate the old woman's caution. The well-written story generates a warm feeling as Fatima's grandmother speaks of the olden days and her granddaughter is able to learn and appreciate the ways of her elders. The impressionistic oil paintings are vivid and detailed, greatly enhancing the story. A wonderful book to bring generations together or to learn about different cultures.

Tammy K. Baggett, Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, GA

Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Reader Reviews for "My Great-Grandmother's Gourd"

Reviewed by abdulai basit 2/3/2010
Reviewed by Hallene Eldosougi 5/5/2008
I true and wonderful story. I knew Cristine Kessler during the time she was inspired to write this story. Cristine actually did investigative work as she always does and spent time in the area where the baobab trees are located and Fatima (of which real name may be concealled. That why I love her books because I know there are factual elements and not here say in her books.

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