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14 Cows for America Hardcover – August 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 540L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers; 1 edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1561454907
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561454907
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 11.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–5—Kimeli Naiyomah returned home to his Maasai village from New York City with news of 9/11 terrorist attacks. His story prompted the villagers to give a heartfelt gift to help America heal. Deedy and Gonzalez bring Naiyomah's story to life with pithy prose and vibrant illustrations. Each block of text consists of a few short, elegant sentences: "A child asks if he has brought any stories. Kimeli nods. He has brought with him one story. It has burned a hole in his heart." The suspenseful pace is especially striking when surrounded by Gonzalez's exquisite colored pencil and pastel illustrations. The colors of Kenya explode off the page: rich blues, flaming oranges, fire-engine reds, and chocolate browns. Full-page spreads depict the Maasai people and their land so realistically as to be nearly lifelike. Gonzalez manages to break the fourth wall and draw readers in as real-time observers. The book's only flaw is the less-than-concrete ending: "…there is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort" is an important message, but not a particularly satisfying one for children. Fortunately, their questions will be answered by Naiyomah's endnote, and it provides a fitting conclusion to this breathtaking chronicle.—Rebecca Dash, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"...a lovely picture book...beautifully evocative..." ?The New York Times

"...moving and dramatically illustrated..." ?The Wall Street Journal

"Rarely do books for children address the bridging of cultural difference on a grand scale." ?Newsday

"An extraordinary true story of generosity, compassion and hope, 14 Cows for America is rich on multiple levels for young and old alike." ?Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

"I dare you to read this special picture book without getting teary every time." ?Library Media Connection, * STARRED REVIEW *

"A moving tale of compassion and generosity." ?Publishers Weekly

"...elegant sentences...The suspenseful pace is especially striking when surrounded by Gonzalez's exquisite colored pencil and pastel illustrations. The colors of Kenya explode off the page..." ?School Library Journal, * STARRED REVIEW *

"...gentle yet piercing present-tense prose...A stirring, heartwarming tale that made headlines when it happened-and is now, thankfully, preserved on the page for children." ?Kirkus Reviews

"...the words and the glowing mixed-media illustrations show empathy and connections across communities..." ?Booklist

"...an unforgettable book." ?Young Adult (& Kids) Book Central

"...it could generate some excellent discussion in classrooms and families." ?The Huffington Post


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 53 customer reviews
This is a beautifully illustrated, wonderful book based on a true story.
D. Kroll
As a former teacher, I think this would be a wonderful book to use early in the school year, around 9/11, for 3rd-12th grades.
Jane F. Erickson
This is a wonderful story that teaches us all about compassion for others, concern for others, and true empathy.
S. H. Towhey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
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.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. Copeland on August 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This incredible story relates the response of the a Maasai tribe to the September 11th tragedy. When one of their members, who is studying in the US, relates the events of 9/11, the tribe responds with compassion. The illustrations and the poetic language work together to create an amazingly beautiful book. I highly recommend it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jane F. Erickson on October 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former teacher, I think this would be a wonderful book to use early in the school year, around 9/11, for 3rd-12th grades. It's a wonderful way to help students look at an event through the eyes of other people. It is also a subtle, but effective, way to dispell stereotypes that some may have about people living in Africa - the main character is going to college at Stanford to prepare for medical school!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Swain on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As an elementary teacher, I spend most of my Barnes and Noble visits in the children's book section of the store. On my last visit I saw this title and grabbed it off the shelf to flip through. I was embarrassed because I began to weep in the middle of the bookstore as I read the story. I would flip a page, pause to collect myself, and then tear up again as I resumed my reading. What a powerful story, and how empowering for the Masai. The best part is that there is no heavy-handed metaphor, or blatant trumpeting of a moral - the storytellers let the story tell itself. It is exquisite, and a great read aloud for children as young as first grade.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Kroll on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully illustrated, wonderful book based on a true story. Author Carmen Deedy is a delightful person. I had the opportunity to hear her speak, and her account of the writing of this book is very moving. I also had the opportunity to take a group of my high school students to hear Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah whose story is the subject of the book. My students were in awe! Although this is a children's book, it truly is a book for all ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MBallod on June 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am absolutely in love with the illustrations in this book. They are incredible! I was moved by the heart of this book and what other are willing to do for those in need. I was touched by how Sept. 11th was introduced without being over powering. This is a truly wonderful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Virginia on May 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Children of today should hear this special story. It shares the goodness of another culture and reminds the readers of the appreciation and respect other people of this world have for our America.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By love the book on May 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If illustrations are your thing, and you loved these, check out Dream of Wings, by the same illustrator. The colors are amazing, and the story is so lovely.
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