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Deep in the Sahara



written by
Kelly Cunnane
illustrated by
Hoda Hadadi

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Random House
Imprint
Schwartz & Wade
ISBN
9780375970344

Awards and Honors
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books of 2013; ALA 2014 Notable Children’s Books, Younger Readers; Booklist 2014 Top 10 Books for Youth, Religion and Spirituality; Winner, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, 2014
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$12.00   $5.00
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QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

Easy Reading Plus

Lalla wants to dress in a malafa like her mother. But she’ll learn that wearing this colorful cloth is about more than beauty, mystery, or even Mauritanian tradition. Author’’ note. Glossary. Full-color collage illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

40

Dewey

F

AR

3.7: points 0.5

Lexile

890L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

1

JLG Release

Dec 2013

Book Genres


Topics

Coming of age. Clothing and dress. Muslims. Sahara. West Africa. Malafas. Faith and religion. Tradition.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
“In a pale pink house the shape of a tall cake,/you watch Mama’s malafa/flutter as she prays./More than all the stars in a desert sky,/you want a malafa so you can be beautiful too.” Mama cautions Lalla that a malafa is for more than beauty. The pattern continues as Lalla envies her sister’s sense of mystery, the market ladies’ femininity, and her grandmother’s air of ancient tradition until she gets a malafa of her own, “as blue as the ink in the Koran” so she can take her place beside her mother for the evening prayer. Cunnane has a strong connection to Africa, having lived in both Kenya and Mauritania, the setting of this lovely original story. Like For You Are a Kenyan Child (S & S, 2006), this book incorporates authentic cultural details in both the poetic text and the evocative illustrations. Local Hassaniya words, for example, appear naturally in the text, and are helpfully defined in a glossary. Cut-paper collage illustrations feature boys in turbans, men hurrying to prayers, and women dressed in brightly colored swaths of cloth, enlivening the browns, greens, and adobe brick of the desert background. An author’s note acknowledges that she’d believed the wearing of the veil was repressive to women until she understood it was a “relaxed and colorful expression of . . . faith and culture.” Perhaps this upbeat picture book about a mother welcoming her daughter into their community of faith will engender a more positive attitude toward women who choose traditional dress in the modern world.—Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
“In a pale pink house the shape of a tall cake,/you watch Mama’s malafa/flutter as she prays./More than all the stars in a desert sky,/you want a malafa so you can be beautiful too.” Mama cautions Lalla that a malafa is for more than beauty. The pattern continues as Lalla envies her sister’s sense of mystery, the market ladies’ femininity, and her grandmother’s air of ancient tradition until she gets a malafa of her own, “as blue as the ink in the Koran” so she can take her place beside her mother for the evening prayer. Cunnane has a strong connection to Africa, having lived in both Kenya and Mauritania, the setting of this lovely original story. Like For You Are a Kenyan Child (S & S, 2006), this book incorporates authentic cultural details in both the poetic text and the evocative illustrations. Local Hassaniya words, for example, appear naturally in the text, and are helpfully defined in a glossary. Cut-paper collage illustrations feature boys in turbans, men hurrying to prayers, and women dressed in brightly colored swaths of cloth, enlivening the browns, greens, and adobe brick of the desert background. An author’s note acknowledges that she’d believed the wearing of the veil was repressive to women until she understood it was a “relaxed and colorful expression of . . . faith and culture.” Perhaps this upbeat picture book about a mother welcoming her daughter into their community of faith will engender a more positive attitude toward women who choose traditional dress in the modern world.—Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL

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Interests
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