The Storyteller by Evan Turk

The Storyteller by Evan Turk

The Storyteller by Evan Turk; illustrated by Evan Turk. 2016. Water-soluble crayons, inks, indigo, colored drawing pencils, sugared green tea, a heat gun, and fire.

Brief summary: There is a drought in Morocco and a little boy looking for water comes across a storyteller(a blaykia) in the town’s square who tells him a tale of how the Sahara Desert was kept from destroying the city. The blaykia continues the story each day filling the boy’s spiritual and  physical thirsts three times.

Comments: This is the first time I have seen illustrations that included the use of  sugared green tea, a heat gun, and fire. The illustrations are superbly done and enhanced the folktale’s magic.  I learned how a blaykia uses the oral tradition of storytelling with the audience sitting in a balka(circle, ring) around the blaykia as he/she recites the story from memory usually stopping just at the climax or interesting part to lure the audience to come again another day to hear the continuation. This is a must for any folklore library or home collection especially with its rich and stunning illustrations which can be better understood with this link of the making of the illustrations by Evan Turk himself.    There is a book trailer as well.  I see this book as a definite Caldecott contender.

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