Day of Ahmed's Secret

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Day of Ahmed's Secret [Paperback]

Florence Parry Heide , Judith Heide Gilliland , Ted Lewin
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this admirable introduction to life in an alien culture, readers are whisked to the busy streets of Cairo--where young Ahmed is making his daily rounds on a donkey cart, delivering large canisters of butane gas. The city is presented through his eyes, and text and illustration work together in harmony to produce a sense of place so vivid that readers can almost hear the cry of vendors in the crowded marketplace and feel the heat rising from the streets. On this particular day, Ahmed carries a secret with him (he has learned to write his name in Arabic), one children will enjoy trying to guess. The authors have produced fluid prose, and Lewin's sensitive, luminous watercolors hint at the mystery and timelessness of this exotic city. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Ahmed has monumental news to share with his family, but first he must complete the age-old duties of a butagaz boy, delivering cooking gas to customers all over Cairo. The juxtapo sition of old and new is a repeated theme in Heide and Gilliland's thought ful story of a young boy living in the bustling metropolis surrounded by thousand-year-old walls and buildings. His philosophical musings as he steers his donkey cart on his appointed rounds could be those of any youngster, living in any age, waiting for the appropriate moment to share his special secret. En hanced by Lewin's distinguished pho torealistic watercolors, the sights, sounds, and smells of the exotic setting come to life. Sweeping double-page spreads reveal the sun-bleached streets, pedestrians bearing all manner of bundles, and colorful market stalls. At home at last, surrounded by his lov ing family, Ahmed demonstrates his newly acquired facility, proudly writing his name in Arabic. Life goes on in the hectic, noisy cities of the world regard less of a day's news and yet, the bound less energy and promise of youth rein force the ideal that anything is possible. Ahmed's story is a joyful celebration of that spirit.
-Luann Toth, School Library Journal
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ted Lewin grew up in an old frame house in Buffalo, New York, with two brothers, one sister, two parents, a lion, an iguana, a chimpanzee, and an assortment of more conventional pets. The lion was given to his older brother, Don, while he was traveling as a professional wrestler, and he shipped it home. The family kept Sheba in the basement fruit cellar until Don returned and their mother convinced him to give it to the Buffalo zoo.

Ted always knew he wanted to be an illustrator. As a child he copied the work of illustrators and painters he admired, including N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Velázquez, and Goya. When it came time to go to art school (Pratt), he needed to earn money to finance his education. So, following in his brother’s footsteps, he took a summer job as a wrestler -- the beginning of a 15-year part-time career that eventually inspired his autobiographical book I Was a Teenage Professional Wrestler. Ted’s career as an artist began with illustrations for adventure magazines, and it’s only over the last several years that he has devoted his time to writing and illustrating children’s books. "I’m having more fun doing this than anything I’ve ever done before," he says. He is an avid traveler, and many of his books are inspired by trips to such places as the Amazon River, the Sahara Desert, Botswana, Egypt, Lapland, and India. His Market!, published in 1996, showcases markets around the world, from Uganda to Ireland to Ecuador.

Touch and Go is a collection of stories about the adventures Ted had while researching his books. Gorilla Walk is his first collaboration with his wife, Betsy, and is about their trek to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda. They’ve just completed their second collaboration, Elephant Quest, set in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. Ted’s current project is about a Civil War drummer boy.

Ted and Betsy live in Brooklyn, New York, where they share their home with two cats, Slick and Chopper.

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