Cover image for My great-grandmother's gourd
My great-grandmother's gourd
Kessler, Cristina.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Orchard Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Residents of a Sudanese village rejoice when a traditional water storage method is replaced by modern technology, but Fatima's grandmother knows there is no substitute for the reliability of the baobab tree.
Reading Level:
NC 770 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 41948.
Geographic Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Fatima is thrilled. Her village has a brand-new pump. No more camels hauling water. No more storing water in baobab trees. Life will be easier and better for all. Well, almost all. Fatima's grandmother refuses to change her ways. She insists upon preparing the baobab tree, just as her mother and grandmother did before her. The other villagers think she's foolish, but she doesn't care. She has plenty of work to do -- and so does her granddaughter, who decides to help her.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-8. When a Sudanese village installs a new water pump, young Fatima is the first to push the handle. In the past, the villagers coped with the long, dry seasons by storing water in the trunks of the ancient baobab trees. But with the new pump, nobody prepares their trees except Fatima's grandmother, who is skeptical about disregarding the "old ways." With Fatima's help, she fills her tree, and when the pump breaks during a drought, the villagers flock to the baobab, as grandmother says, "Maybe it's wise to mix old with new." Despite the heavy message, this is a lyrically told story with cultural particulars woven gracefully into the text. With creative perspectives and spare compositions, Krudop's oil illustrations ably extend the story's strong sense of character and place, showing the respect between Fatima and her grandmother and for the tree set against the stark landscape. Another intriguing African story from a longtime resident of the continent. Included are a helpful author's note and a glossary of the few Arabic words used in text. --Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-A delightful story about keeping old traditions while accepting those that are new. The people of a Sudanese village are excited about a shiny new water pump. Never again will they have to use old methods for getting water-or so they think. Fatima's grandmother, however, remembers how people relied on storing water in the baobab trees in the past, and she is determined to prepare her tree before the rains come, despite the ridicule of her neighbors. Then, one day, the pump breaks and the villagers appreciate the old woman's caution. The well-written story generates a warm feeling as Fatima's grandmother speaks of the olden days and her granddaughter is able to learn and appreciate the ways of her elders. The impressionistic oil paintings are vivid and detailed, greatly enhancing the story. A wonderful book to bring generations together or to learn about different cultures.-Tammy K. Baggett, Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.