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The Butter Man    by Elizabeth Alalou & Julie Klear Essakalli order for
Butter Man
by Elizabeth Alalou
Order:  USA  Can
Charlesbridge, 2008 (2008)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

On a Saturday evening, a hungry girl watches her baba (father) make a big pot of couscous for the family dinner (her mother is still at work) in a special pot that he brought from Morocco. To distract Nora while waiting, baba tells her a story.

Baba tells of a time of drought and hunger in his home in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco - after the cow is sold and his father leaves in search of work, there is no more butter. Hungry for it, he asks his mother if there is even just a little - and she suggests he take his bread and wait outside for the butter man.

So baba does. And while he observes all the passersby and a 'big red truck' go through the busy village, he eats his bread without thinking of butter. He does this every day, and every day returns empty handed - 'No more bread. No butter man.' But one day, when baba only has a very small piece of bread to eat, someone special does show up - can you guess who he is?

An Author's Note tells readers about the villagers who live in the High Atlas Mountains, and a Glossary explains Berber words that are used in the text. The Butter Man is a sweet and informative story that introduces kids to another culture, and might make them appreciate their next meal - and the butter on the table - just a little more than usual.

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