How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale

How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale

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by Margaret Read MacDonald, Carol Liddiment
     
 

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Jouha is loading his donkeys with dates to sell at the market. How many donkeys are there? His son helps him count ten, but once the journey starts, things change. First there are ten donkeys—then there are nine! When Jouha stops to count again, the lost donkey is back. What’s going on? Silly Jouha doesn’t get it, but by the end of the story, wise

Overview

Jouha is loading his donkeys with dates to sell at the market. How many donkeys are there? His son helps him count ten, but once the journey starts, things change. First there are ten donkeys—then there are nine! When Jouha stops to count again, the lost donkey is back. What’s going on? Silly Jouha doesn’t get it, but by the end of the story, wise readers will be counting correctly—and in Arabic! Margaret Read MacDonald and Nadia Jameel Taibah are the tellers of this funny tale from the Middle East. The sunny pictures were painted by Carol Liddiment.“Bright, painterly illustrations depict the sunny desert setting; jewel-toned robes, turbans, and blankets enliven the sandy palette. . . . A winning, witty, and surprisingly effective combination.” —Booklist “Young readers will giggle along as they familiarize themselves with cardinal numbers in both languages and spot Jouha’s grievous but comic errors. . . . Engaging and filled with gentle humor—a solid choice for home or school use.” —Kirkus Reviews “Full-color paintings expand the repetitive text, tracing the journey of ten distinctly different donkeys across the desert landscape and indicating the passage of time with the position of the sun, the color of the sky, and the size of the shadows underneath the donkeys.” —School Library Journal “This book teaches Arabic numbers through repetition while poking fun at the silliness of Jouha, making it a good choice.” —Library Media Connection “Margaret Read McDonald is not only the world’s expert on folklore for children, she is also a fine storyteller, as this counting book shows.” —Children’s Literature Margaret Read MacDonald loves folktales and travels the world telling wonderful stories and teaching others how to share them. How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale won the Best Foreign Children’s Book Award at the 2010 Sharjah International Book Fair. She lives in Washington. Carol Liddiment lives in England, in the Suffolk countryside with her two sons. As a child she spent much of her time riding horses and adopting wild animals! Now she spends her time illustrating books for children.   

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Margaret Read McDonald is not only the world's expert on folklore for children, she is also a fine storyteller, as this counting book shows. This simple tale shows the foolish Jouha going to market with ten donkeys; on his way he counts them again and again to make sure they all are with him but fails to count the one he is sitting on and thus believes he has lost one. He dismounts to recount and is pleased to have the lost one back. Young children who may have made the same mistake will delight in Carol Liddiment's bright colored illustrations that clearly picture where Jouha goes wrong. At the bottom of each spread, a border shows the number word and numeral in Arabic script. Given how often Jouha is fooled, by the end of the story, children may well be able to join in with Jouha's counting. The text, like the tale itself, is spare, with a lot of repetition so that emerging readers might be able to read it for themselves. McDonald prefaces the story with a full identification of the origin and variants of this folktale. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this Saudi folktale, Jouha loads ten donkeys with dates to sell at the market. As he rides along, he counts nine and believes one is lost. Yet when he walks, he counts all ten and is grateful that the missing donkey is back. Alternately lucky and unlucky, depending on whether he walks or rides, Jouha sells his dates and returns home with all of his donkeys. Arabic numbers from one to ten are written from right to left at the bottom of the pages, both in Arabic and in English transliteration, and invite youngsters to count along with the silly date merchant. (Readers can listen to Taibah pronounce these numbers on MacDonald's Web site.) Full-color paintings expand the repetitive text, tracing the journey of ten distinctly different donkeys across the desert landscape and indicating the passage of time with the position of the sun, the color of the sky, and the size of the shadows underneath the donkeys. In an opening note, MacDonald documents the many variants of this folktale, including Denys Johnson-Davies's Goha the Wise Fool (Philomel, 2005), which is set in Egypt. For those libraries with large folklore collections or those looking for unusual counting books.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews
In this retelling of a traditional Middle Eastern folktale, silly Jouha can not understand why every time he sits on his donkey and counts the donkeys behind that are carting his figs to market, he loses one, making him a most unlucky man! But no worries-each time he is instructed to dismount, he is able to count all of the donkeys he sees, and all ten are there, making him quite a lucky fellow. Liddiment's warm, sunlit illustrations show the lovable fool making his way through the desert landscape and finding help from passersby, all the while accompanied by the numbers one to ten in Arabic and English transliteration, which periodically appear at the bottom of the pages. Young readers will giggle along as they familiarize themselves with cardinal numbers in both languages and spot Jouha's grievous but comic errors. An initial note explains that, as in Arabic, the numbers appear from right to left, and provides source notes and pronunciations. Engaging and filled with gentle humor-a solid choice for home or school use. (Picture book/folktale. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781480492615
Publisher:
Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
03/18/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
10 MB
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Margaret Read MacDonald loves folktales and travels the world telling wonderful stories and teaching others how to share them. How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale won the Best Foreign Children’s Book Award at the 2010 Sharjah International Book Fair. She lives in Washington. Carol Liddiment lives in England, in the Suffolk countryside with her two sons. As a child she spent much of her time riding horses and adopting wild animals! Now she spends her time illustrating books for children.  

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How Many Donkeys?: An Arabic Counting Tale 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this is something 4 Christians, i am a Christian, so syl pplz.