14 Cows for America
By Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez
In Collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah
Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta
Summary: This story reveals a true event that occurred after the events of September 11th. I was unaware of this event until reading this story. We learn of a Kenyan man living in America at the time of September 11th. He returns to Kenya and tells the tale of the events that occurred in America on September 11th. His village takes the events to heart and donates 14 cows to America in a touching ceremony. The story shows hope, friendship, and selflessness.
I found the illustrations in this book to be extraordinary. The book information states that the "illustrations are created in pastel, colored pencil, and airbrush on 100% rag archival watercolor paper".
The end of the book contains a note from Kimeli Naiyomah, the man featured in the story. We see a photo of him with two Massai elders. He tells the story of growing up in Kenya, having a strong bond with the cows he helped to care for, and the life lessons he learned there. He then explains what brought him to America and how he returned to Kenya to tell his village about the events that took place in America on September 11th. We then learn the story of the how the 14 cows became a gift for America. There is also an image of a flag that commemorates this event which is now on display at the US Embassy in Kenya.
This story has its own website: 14 Cows for America
From there you can learn more about the story, and even visit the book's very own Facebook, Twitter, or Blog.