[EPUB] ✵ 14 Cows for America Author Carmen Agra Deedy – Horse-zine.co.uk

10 thoughts on “14 Cows for America

  1. says:

    Carmen Agra Deedy s 14 Cows For American is the true heart wrenching story of Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, an African medical student studying in New York when the twin towers burned on 911 He returns to his Maasai tribe and retells the story in the hopes that the elders will bless the cow he worked so hard to purchase for his mother but now decides to give to America As Kimeli Naiyomah explains, his tribe taught him that, to heal the pain in someone s heart, you give something that is close to your own heart To the nomadic Maasai tribe a cow means, life Without their cows they would starve to death The tribe hears the story and decides one by one to also give, until 14 cows in all are offered An American diplomat is sent to receive the gift When he and his wife arrive they are given a ceremony with full traditional garb, dance and the experience of a sacred ritual They are moved to tears and so was I Upon reading this picture storybook one can tell why it won a Bluestem Award nomination and Parent s Choice Award Thomas Gonzalez s illustrations are simply beautiful The bold bright colors would be appealing to any child The wide horizontal shaped design of the book with illustrations across two pages emphasizes the landscape and openness of nature and the heavens, the setting for this story The text is just as beautiful as the illustrations Each support each other so the reader feels the depth of the emotions felt by the tribe that day and the magnitude of their gift The story ends with, because there is no nation to powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort The text is accompanied by a drawing of the main character s eye with the reflection of the twin towers burning in the richness of his beautiful black eyes I know at this point, I have lost all control I was left with questions at the end of the book like did they really send the cows and if so, here where are they now All of my questions were answered in the epilogue along with a website for further information This text would lend itself to discussion in numerous ways for students 9 and up A discussion about 911 and how it impacted to world would be appropriate I would also suggest using this book as a mentor text to discuss visual literacy elements with children second grade and up Discussions about how illustrations and text and how they support each other for understanding and mood and tone of a text would be in order.

  2. says:

    This a beautiful story about the incredible generosity of a village towards a country they have never known It reminds us how precious and bittersweet a gift it is to share the burden of grief.

  3. says:

    As with any tragedy, in the years following the wake of September 11th a spate of books came out discussing, dissecting, and generally trying to make sense of what occurred In this the children s literary world and the adult literary world were very much alike Picture books in particular took a great deal of interest in making the events palatable to young impressionable minds The results were mixed The general consensus was to write titles that focused on the human moments that surrounded the tragedy That adorable little fireboat that helped put out the blazes in Maira Kalman s almost too cute Fireboat The women who could not deliver their roses, and so created an impromptu memorial in Jeannette Winter s September Roses Best of these was Mordecai Gerstein s The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, the tragedy was merely tangential to the real story These books all came out within a few years of one another and then nothing It was as if people didn t feel inclined or capable of coming up with something new Then comes 14 Cows for America By rights, this book should not work That it succeeds as magnificently as it does is a credit to each one of its three creators.One day a young man named Kimeli returns to the village where he grew up Kimeli is Maasai and he has been studying in New York to become a doctor However, the events of September 11th are still with him, and later he tells his people the story of that horror of that particular day Kimeli tells the elders that he will offer his cow to the people of America The elders agree, but invite a diplomat from the United States Embassy in Nairobi to visit the village When the diplomat comes he is greeted with a full ceremony and is presented with not one, but fourteen cows A Note from Kimeli himself at the end explains how all this came to be, and says that These sacred, healing cows can never be slaughtered, and will be kept under Maasai care in Kenya.Carmen Agra Deedy has done a remarkable job with the text Now, I will admit that I walked into this book skeptical, because I was not the world s biggest fan of her The Yellow Star That was a book that took a myth and turned it into a story that, to those not reading closely, could have been interpreted as fact To take this true story and give it the right tone and temper well, to be perfectly frank I wasn t sure what to expect As it turned out, I needn t have worried This isn t a book where an author heard a story, thought it would make a great picture book, and then wrote the tale entirely on her own with minimal input from the people directly involved Deedy collaborated directly with the book s protagonist, Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah to give this story its factual background In the Spring of 2002 Deedy picked up her copy of The New York Times and read this story about the Maasai Over the years she continued to collect information and eventually she got in touch with Naiyomah They emailed back and forth and result is the book we have today The remarkable thing about the storytelling is that the little human facts make it interesting, but without ever sounding condescending It would be all too easy to turn this into a story where the Maasai come off looking like magical saintly people who do this grand deed because they are not of this world Deedy strives instead to make them infinitely human and relatable To do this, she first needs to make it perfectly clear what the cow represents to them, so the term the cow is life is invoked Kimeli is the detail that sets the book apart, of course He is the tie that binds Without him, this would be like any other story told about an insular group by an outsider With Kimeli you are inside the story with the Maasai, and you are given a deeper understanding of a symbolic gesture Deedy grounds her tale in the real world, then finds just the right words It takes a real author to know how to finish a tale of this sort perfectly, but Deedy s last sentence takes the cake Because there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort Like Deedy, Gonzalez is also originally from Cuba, a fact that I found particularly interesting In her Author blurb, Deedy says of herself she came to the United States as a refugee and like most immigrants sees the world from multiple perspectives Gonzalez does not discuss his perspective in his blurb, but it s clear that with this book he has debuted with something remarkably strong His background is in graphic design and art direction and as a Georgia resident it s just remarkably lucky that he happened to be near the Atlanta based Peachtree publisher Now he has a picture book to his name that is far and away one of the most beautiful out there The illustrations you find here are created in pastel, colored pencil, and airbrush The result are these rich, full colors that transition beautifully between the early morning gloom of a jeep headed to a village on one page and the full throttle reds and vibrant colors of a ritual on the next.The artist also eschews stereotype and the easy way out His images have the feel of a documentary, as well as a work of art Like Deedy, Gonzalez acknowledges that these are warriors we re talking about In one two page spread you see just the heads of two men, one of them with their face in shadow, just the eyes looking steadily at the reader These aren t people you mess with but, as the text says, They are fierce when provoked, but easily moved to kindness when they hear of suffering or injustice Gonzalez is at his cleverest when he must invoke the feel of September 11th without actually showing it This is something picture books about 9 11 have to do on a regular basis, but none of the books about that day have been quite so clever about presenting the incident visually When Kimeli tells his story the reader is on the same level as the village children, looking up Most of the two page spread consists of the sky above with Kimeli lifting his arms in the telling of his tale Above him, the sky is gray with streaks of red and orange For anyone familiar with the images of September 11th, such colors are instantly recognizable Gonzalez has taken a day, reduced it to color alone, and then placed it harmlessly in an African sky where it illustrates a terrible tale It is the smartest illustration choice I have seen in a very long time For that image alone, the book should win some awards Of course, there is one shot of the towers burning in the eyes of a Maasai child at the end of the book, but that picture is far less powerful than the preceding image and, in fact, feels a bit superfluous in comparison.I did hear one criticism of this book that I thought was fairly on point Non fiction books for kids walk a tricky line between telling their stories for their child audiences and telling stories for the adults who are actually buying these books in the first place To bridge this gap, many times an author will tell their story for the kids at the start, then follow up their story in the Afterword or Author s Note at the end for the adults This doesn t have to happen, of course In The Wall by Peter Sis, for example, the author cleverly created two narratives, one old and one young, so that kids of different ages and reading levels could all get something out of the material The argument has been made that in the case of 14 Cows for America there are facts mentioned in the Note from Kimeli Naiyomah that should really have been in the text Facts like what eventually happened to the cows they are in Kenya under the guidance of the revered elder Mzee Ole Yiampoi , which a lot of kids will be wondering when they finish this book The kids will probably believe that when the Maasai give their cows to America they are physically sending the cows there, just as the King of Siam meant to sent President Lincoln elephants for the Civil War The fact that this giving is a symbolic gesture could be better explained And I agree that the cows fate would have been nice to mention in the text, but I don t think the choice of including it at the end hurts the book too badly I ve read far too many non fiction picture books where there ISN T an Afterword or Author s Note of any sort, so at least this one is present Should this information have been in the story Sure But if kids ask What happened to the cows parents at least will be able to the Note and read their children what it says at the back The option is there.If I were to pair this book with any other, I think I might go so far as to suggest that people read 14 Cows for America alongside Lynn Barasch s rather fascinating First Comes the Zebra While Deedy s book examines the Maasai from within their own community, showing how they work with one another, Barasch s book then displays them alongside the Kikuyu and offers hope in the face of prejudice Zebra shows that not everything is easy for the Maasai Cows shows their concern and care for the rest of the world in spite of this.On paper, this book shouldn t work There are so many elements that could go horribly wrong The story could be too treacly The pictures too self serving or patronizing The writing too pandering I m the first person to view a book of this sort with a skeptical, even over critical eye, but what I find here is a remarkable melding of three different people, coming together to tell a single true story Fourteen Cows ends with the sentence, The Maasai wish is that every time Americans hear this simple story of fourteen cows, they will find a measure of comfort and peace With this book, that is now possible.Ages 4 8.

  4. says:

    This picture book was recommended by a presenter at NCTE I made a huge book order upon returning from Minneapolis, and I m slowly making my way through this purchase Today I finally picked up this book, and I loved it It is so easy to remain caught up with only those things set right before our eyes, but we re all connected Humanity People can be so amazing, and this book is a reminder that we can make a positive difference in the world, regardless of our situation or location in life, and help and change often come in the most unexpected ways.

  5. says:

    Author Carmen Agra DeedyIllustrator Thomas Gonzalez Illustrations done in pastels, colored pencils, and airbrush on 100% rag archival watercolor paper.Award s Honor s NSSTB 2010 SSLH 2010Grades Reading level 3 5 Used as part of text set for 8th grade.Summary This is a moving story about a remote tribe in Kenya called the Maasai and their touching gift to America after the September 11th attacks Theme This book offers its readers a look into the thoughts and sincere longing of the Maasai tribe to soothe the suffering of a country who endured a great injustice Deedy captures the essence of the Maasai s gift to America in that no country is too great to not need to support and compassion of a people so small This story inspires others to look beyond the magnitude of a crisis and contribute to a solution with meaning and genuine kindness.Classroom Connection This book may compliment studies of African culture or help to contribute to discussions related to the September 11th terrorist attacks This book may also help to tie in cultural diversities in the classroom or how one person or a small group of people can make an impact on an entire community or country While this picture book is intended for grades 3 5, it can also be used during carefully constructed middle school lessons and activities to ignite student s thinking Readers Advisory The content of this book does require basic prior knowledge of the September 11th attacks This will be important for teachers to recognize in situations where English Language Learners are present as they may lack basic prior knowledge in this area Teachers will want to ensure that these students are provided an opportunity to learn about and prepare for this reading The magnificent illustrations and the compelling story of the Maasai tribe will keep students captivated until the end Deedy s ability to capture how deeply affected the Maasai were by the tragedy and their sincere desire to ease the grief of America is both compelling and alluring Thomas Gonzalez s use of brilliant colors in his illustrations is sure to entice the reader but it will be the facial expressions that are depicted throughout the story that will surely evoke every readers emotions.

  6. says:

    Genre MulticulturalAwards Parent s Choice Gold AwardGrade Level 1 6Comments I would read this book to my classroom on September 11 I would use it to promote discussion with my students on what they know about 9 11 I would also discuss the idea of different parts of the world coming together to memorialize on an important day I think that would build such a connection in the students mind knowing that the entire world can come together to be supportive of one another I could also bring this book up when discussing social studies, and how parts of the world are different from ours.

  7. says:

    I do not this story because I do not like these kinds of stories.

  8. says:

    It s difficult to think of a topic widely canvassed, in recent years, than the events of September 11, 2001, and the causes, meanings, and ramifications thereof Everyone from the pride goeth before a fall lot, who blame U.S foreign policy for the attacks, to the clash of civilizations crowd, who look to the inherent evil of the cultures and religion which produced the terrorists for a cause has an opinion It may sound odd, given the current omnipresence of this event in our public discourse, but I rarely hear anyone speaking save in a bombastic way about what actually happened that day about the than three thousand human beings who were brutally murdered in the span of a few short hours It may very well be that this is a necessity, if one is to engage in a rational political discussion of the matter, without being swallowed whole by emotional distress I have this particularly vivid memory of a panel discussion held shortly after 9 11 at my college, in which hot debate about what would and should happen next was interrupted by a quiet young Indian student, who stood up and wondered aloud how the participants could already be haggling about who was to blame, reducing a terrible tragedy to little than a talking point in their own ongoing political narratives Thousands of people have died he exclaimed, and the hall fell silent No one knew what to say partly I suspect, because they recognized the truth of his accusation But also because, what could they say What, save our fumbling attempts to make meaning, can be done in the face of such an atrocity Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah a young Maasai man studying medicine in the United States, who found himself in New York City on that fateful day, and was haunted afterword by the terrible loss suffered by his host nation discovered the answer to that question in the traditions of his people, and in his own childhood heart Returning to his village, it was Kimeli who brought the news of that day to the Maasai, who told them the terrible story, and who asked the elders blessing for his symbolic gift of Enkar s his only cow to America Moved by his story, and mindful of the fact that there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort, the elders agreed They, and the people, did something they added their own cows to Kimeli s gift Fourteen cows for America, from a pastoral people for whom the cow is life Written by Carmen Agra Deedy, in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, whose story it is, 14 Cows for America is an immensely moving little book, a reminder that, while there is malice and cruelty in the world, there is also great generosity and compassion It isn t a book to explain the events of 9 11, so much as a tale of how one person responded to those events how he carried the story around with him, until it burned a hole in his heart how he shared the burden of that story with his loved ones and community and how he found, in the teachings of his childhood, in the idea that To heal a sorrowing heart, give something that is dear to your own, a way to express his compassion, his fellow feeling.Thomas Gonzalez illustrations done in pastel and colored pencil are beautiful, subtly capturing both the light filled land of the Maasai, and in the storytelling scenes the smoky terror of 9 11 But the true strength here is the narrative, which, in its very simplicity, paints the best picture I have yet seen of that terrible day in New York Buildings so tall they can touch the sky Fires so hot they can melt iron Smoke and dust so thick they can block out the sun More than three thousand souls are lost I wept Isn t that what one does, in the face of such terrible wrong Isn t that what one does, in the face of such love

  9. says:

    14 Cows for America, written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez, is a story about the compassion shown to the American community in the wake of the September 11th attacks on America Kenyan born Kimeli Naiyomah was living in New York on September 11, 2001 and experienced the horror felt by all of America on that day The following spring, he returned to his Maasai village and told shared his experiences with his Kenyan community In a culture where a cow is the most sacred possession, Kimeli decides to give a gift of a cow to the Americans as an expression of empathy and sorrow Upon presenting his cow to tribal elders for a blessing, Kimeli finds that other elders in his tribe have added to his gift In this way, 14 Cows are offered for America.This collaborative effort shares with readers one example of the empathy and sorrow felt around the world by the tragic events of September 11th Despite dramatic cultural differences between the Maasai and American people, the universal human emotions of compassion, empathy, and sacrifice break cultural bonds and bring us together This picture book is filled with stunning illustrations that draw us into this community Thomas Gonzalez s focus on the expressive faces of these characters is one of the strongest elements of this book I found the images of the sky in this book equally moving On that day, the treats came from the sky Most images from that day show witnesses looking to the sky Gonzalez s attention to the sky in each of his drawings reminds those of us alive on that day of what came through the sky to change history.While this book could be read to elementary age students, middle and high school students are better equipped to understand the cultural significance of a gift of 14 cows This book could be used as part of a larger unit that looked at worldwide response to the September 11th attacks The note from Kimeli Naiyomah at the end of the book provides the background information for readers from other cultures to understand the symbolic meaning of the cow and it s significance to this village This book earned the 2009 Parents Choice Gold Award, the 2010 Comstock Read Aloud Book Award, and the 2009 Cybils Awards Nominee for Nonfiction Picture Books.

  10. says:

    14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra details the story of Kimeli Naiyomah, a man who grew up in a small village in Kenya, but eventually moved to the United States in order to obtain a degree from Stanford University The story details Kimeli s journey home after the 9 11 tragedy, and his interaction with the people of his village after retelling the horrific events.This story does a wonderful job portraying the message that all can lend aid in a time of need and that suffering of humanity is universal The way in which the people of the Massai tribe show their support for America is wonderfully heart warming The tribe s people want to send their most prized possession, cows, to the hurting country, even at the expense their own tribe s well being The author writes, They sing to them They give them names They shelter the young ones in their homes Without the herd, the tribe might starve To the Maasai, the cow is life, Agra The cow to the Maasai is a symbol of life, and without cows, the Maasai would starve Their herd means a great deal to them The significance might be lost on readers Americans at first glance but upon closer inspection, and possibly a rereading, it is obvious that the Massai gave of their hearts to show their support to America.The visuals Thomas Gonzalez creates are breathtaking The use of wide horizontal portraits emphasizes the landscape and openness of the setting I especially enjoyed the picture of a young Massai boy with the twin towers in his eyes as it visually created the connection between the tribe and 9 11.While I truly enjoyed this story, both the storyline and the visuals, I was left wondering why the author chose to end the story so vaguely Further, why doesn t the author choose to tell the story of what happened to the cows or the response from Americans This vagueness obviously left me with questions than answers at the end of the story, and while I am sure this is not the intent of the author, it is a frustrating feeling to have when ending a seemingly well written picture book.

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14 Cows for America download 14 Cows for America, read online 14 Cows for America, kindle ebook 14 Cows for America, 14 Cows for America 51d1b3f242da In June Of , A Ceremony Begins In A Village In Western Kenya Hundreds Of Maasai Surround An American Diplomat To Bestow A Gift On The American People The Gift Is As Unsought And Unexpected As It Is Extraordinary A Mere Nine Months Have Passed Since The SeptemberAttacks, And Hearts Are Raw Tears Flow Freely As These Legendary Warriors Offer Their Gift To A Grieving People Half A World Away Word Of The Gift Will Travel News Wires Around The Globe Many Will Be Profoundly Touched, But For Americans, This Selfless Gesture Will Have Deeper Meaning Still For A Heartsick Nation, The Gift Of Fourteen Cows Emerges From The Choking Dust And Darkness As A Soft Light Of Hopeand Friendship Master Storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy Hits All The Right Notes In This Story Of Generosity That Crosses Boundaries, Nations, And Cultures An Afterword By Wilson Kimeli Naiyomahthe Maasai Warrior At The Center Of The Storyprovides Additional Information About His Tribe And Their Generousity Thomas Gonzalezs Stunning Paintings Are Saturated With Rich Hues Of Oranges And Browns And Blues And Greens, Which Capture The Nobility Of The Maasai People And The Distinctive Landscape Of The African Plain