Author: Turk, Evan
In a time of drought in the Kingdom of Morocco, a storyteller and a boy weave a tale to thwart a Djinn and his sandstorm from destroying their city.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 182626
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 68244
Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/16)
School Library Journal (+) (05/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (07/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2016 Gr 1–4—Folktales involving water abound in all cultures, but this tale is unusual in using water as a metaphor for story: just as we need water to nourish our physical selves, we need stories to feed our spirits. In Turk's fable, a lone storyteller remains in a Moroccan city where the water sources have all dried up. When a young boy seeks water, the water-seller has only a bowl to give him, but the storyteller tells him a tale that miraculously fills the bowl. In a series of nested stories, the boy's thirst is quenched, and by retelling the stories Scheherazade-style to a sandstorm in the form of a djinn, he is able to save the city and also replenish its water supply. In predominant hues of brown and blue, Turk's bold, semiabstract mixed-media illustrations conjure up swirls of sand and waves of water, evoking the environment and its people. The spreads contain concentric borders representing each of the stories as it is told. Using age-old literary elements and a loose, contemporary art style filled with symbolism, Turk successfully melds two equally important concerns of our time—the need to keep storytelling alive and the need to protect and conserve our drinking water. - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 07/01/2016 At a dried-up fountain in a thirsty Moroccan city, a boy encounters an old man who offers him a story. As the boy listens, returning each day for the next promised installment (each segment ends “Ah, well, that is a story for another day”), water appears in the cup he carries. Pouring the contents into the fountain produces even more water-and not a moment too soon, as a massive sandstorm kicked up by a djinn bent on the city’s destruction is headed their way. Luckily, the djinn is a sucker for a good yarn, and the boy just happens to know one, buying time enough for water to replenish the whole town and send the sand spirit packing. A veritable nesting doll of a narrative (that ends with a storyteller, who much resembles the boy, telling a little girl, “Ah, well, that is a story for another day”) complete with an informative author’s note, this story about the power of story is a call for reconnection with tradition, oral and otherwise. Turk’s illustrations transport the reader to a Morocco of the past and present, capturing the timelessness of the country juxtaposed against the cautionary message about disappearing customs. Turk has quite the toolkit for his art, using “water-soluble crayon, colored drawing pencils, inks, indigo, sugared green tea, a heat gun, and fire,” resulting in a desert-tinged color palette accented by the bold colors and distinct silhouettes of the Arabian world. While the text lends itself well to a readaloud-and, given the story’s moral, is probably its intent-the evocative, impressionistic renderings deserve one-on-one time with viewers for full use and appreciation. AA - Copyright 2016 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.