Storytellers

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It is early morning, and the haunting cry of the muezzin drifts in the air above the city of Fez, Morocco. Abdul and his grandfather walk to work, spread a carpet on the ground, and wait for a crowd to gather. And then, at last, Abdul releases the story bird and Grandfather begins his tale. Full color. Size D. 40 pp. 12,000 print. Buyer's Choice

Abdul and Grandfather pass through the streets of Fez, Morocco, and stop at an old gate,...

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Overview

It is early morning, and the haunting cry of the muezzin drifts in the air above the city of Fez, Morocco. Abdul and his grandfather walk to work, spread a carpet on the ground, and wait for a crowd to gather. And then, at last, Abdul releases the story bird and Grandfather begins his tale. Full color. Size D. 40 pp. 12,000 print. Buyer's Choice

Abdul and Grandfather pass through the streets of Fez, Morocco, and stop at an old gate, where Grandfather performs as a storyteller.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Lewin Market! once again demonstrates his remarkable gift for bringing faraway locales to life for young readers, even if this tale of Abdul and his storyteller-grandfather, who head to work on the outskirts of an ancient Moroccan city, falls flat. Sun-tinged watercolor scenes of Fez bustle with the activity of the souk, or marketplace: muleteers guiding mules loaded down with brass bowls and crates holding TV sets, a wool-dyer twisting long, bright skeins, a wizened old falconer holding his pink-hooded peregrine, leather-dyers drying the dyed skins on rooftops, weavers, rug merchants and other intriguing sights. Lewin builds suspense by hinting at the work that lies ahead for his two protagonistsAbdul carries a cage with a single white pigeon and Grandfather carries a blanket. But when they at last arrive at the city gates, wait for the crowd to gather, and release the pigeon who carries a story back from the sky for Grandfather to tell, readers never get to hear it. Lewin tells only the beginning and end of the tale, and readers may well feel cheated. Unfortunately, the lovely panoramas can't make up for the book's abrupt ending. Ages 5-up. Apr.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Readers are transported to the exotic bazaars in Fez, Morocco where the streets haven't changed much over the last 1,000 years. Abdul and his grandfather are heading out to work at daybreak. They pass through the souks with their wool dyers, metal workers, and leather tanners and comment on the difficulty, noise and smells associated with those jobs. Finally they arrive at their work place by the old city gate, one that lets them work in the light, in fresh air. They wait for the crowd to gather and for a sufficient amount of money to be placed on the carpet. Abdul launches a white pigeon into the sky to bring down a story, and then grandfather begins a tale that holds the crowd spellbound. Many times that day stories are told, for Abdul and his grandfather are professional storytellers. All of the sights and people are gloriously depicted in Lewin's watercolors.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4The culture of Morocco comes to life in this tribute to the magic of storytelling. Abdul and his grandfather wend their way through the streets of the old city of Fez, passing the souks of the various trades as they go. While enjoying the sights, smells, and sounds of the marketplace, Abdul is convinced that the work that he and his grandfather do is the most gratifying of all. When his grandfather begins to weave magical tales, mesmerizing his audience, Abdul's feelings are confirmed. With the same intensity found in Peppe the Lamplighter Lothrop, 1993, Lewin has created striking acrylic paintings that capture the colors and the sights of Fez, which has changed little over the past thousand years. The realistic paintings are wonderfully textured, and the faces of the people Abdul meets are particularly well drawn, making the double-page illustrations a perfect complement to this tale of a gifted storyteller whose words touch the hearts of his listeners. The story flows easily, using a few Arabic terms italicized and explained either in the accompanying glossary or in context to enhance the flavor of the tale. The strong relationship between Abdul and his grandfather will help readers identify with the characters, despite the exotic setting. A rather quiet story, Lewin's tale will, nonetheless, captivate young listeners, drawing them in and holding their attention. Most importantly, it will help to validate storytelling as an art form that transcends differences in culture and age. A gem for storytime read-alouds.Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688151782
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.61 (w) x 11.38 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet 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.

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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