Calabash Cat and His Amazing Journey by James Rumford

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calabsh cat

We stumbled on this book at the library and got excited when we saw that it is written in both English and Arabic.  It isn’t a book that has been translated, the author wrote it in both the Arabic dialect of Chad and English.  The Arabic script compliments the artistic style of designs burned on a calabash gourd. The simplistic contrasting color illustrations, force the reader/ listener to give life to the folktale style story.  I debated on whether to review it here on the blog being as it is not Islamic (or unIslamic) in any way, but opted to do so, because it would probably excite other children to see the Arabic just as it did mine.

calabsh cat 2A calabash cat in the middle of Africa wants to see where the world ends. When the road stops at the edge of the great desert he thinks it stops there. But a Camel corrects him and offers him a ride on his back to show him where the world ends.  When they get across the desert, the camel puts him down on the edge of the grassland and tells him this is where the world ends.  A horse corrects him, that in fact this is not where the world ends and offers to show him where it does.  He climbs up on the horse and the gallop through the grassland.  This continues through the jungle on a tiger, the ocean on a whale, then on the back of an eagle all the way home. Written on a 3.3 level, there are 32 pages with a author’s note about where the idea for the story came from.  The book works well for story time and  the repetition makes it good for bedtime too.

 calabsh whalecalabash

 

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