The Magic Gourd, a West African folk tale by Baba Wagué Diakité, 2003 first edition.


Written and illustrated by Baba Wague' Diakite. First edition, February, 2003. Scholastic Press, New York.

"It all began when the sun refused to allow the clouds to gather, and there was no rain. First came drought. Then came famine. Everyone was hungry. And it was then that Brother Rabbit wandered around the parched countryside searching for wild roots to feed his starving family. As he walked, he sang..

"Feeyeh ku, feeyeh ku. Waara sa kun tay.

"Luck will come. Life will be good."

Front Flap:

"When Rabbit rescues Chameleon from a thorny bush, his kindness is rewarded tenfold with a most amazing fit: a magic gourd that fills itself with anything its owner desires.

"Ee ko dee!" cries Rabbit, unable to believe his good luck. For there has been drought and famine, and now he can feed his hungry family - and his neighbors, too.

"But very soon, word gets out to Mansa Jugu, a greedy king, who steals Rabbit's gift to make gold and riches for himself. How Rabbit recovers his gourd and teaches the greedy king an important lesson about generosity and friendship makes for an inspiring story about the true meaning of wealth."

At the back of the book are notes on songs of praise, an Author's Note on growing up in Mali, a glossary, an index to the mud cloth patterns used in the illustrations, and notes on folk stories about vessels that produce endless amounts of food from other cultures.

Baba Wagué Diakité is a multi-media artist from Mali, West Africa, who has been living and working in Portland, Oregon, for over 35 years. He is known for his ceramics, mud cloth, mural painting, and children's book illustration, all of which are inspired by his rich cultural heritage and the tradition of storytelling. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, and has received several awards and honors, including a Coretta Scott King Honor Book for his first picture book, The Hunterman and the Crocodile. He is also the founder of a cultural center in Bamako, Mali, where he organizes art projects and exchanges with Oregonians.
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Condition*: Fine/Near Fine. Dust jacket: Light shelf wear. Illustrated cover boards. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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