White Ravens: Morocco

4 books      

Morocco (French) - 2001 - 110
Dib, Mohammed (text)
Logié, Alexis (illus.)
Salem et le sorcier
(Salem and the sorcerer)
Agdal, Rabat : Éd. Yomad, 2000. [26] p.
(Collection Hikayat)
ISBN 9954-0-0025-9
Imprisonment - Liberation - Solidarity
The chain of motives of the child that won't listen, the dog that won't bite the child, the stick that won't hit the dog, the fire that won't burn the stick etc. is known from children's songs. In this book, the master giving out commands is a sorcerer, his slave a child. Its first refusal to execute an order causes a chain reaction: all the other slaves join in the disobedience. The illustrations clearly show how the eye-contact among the disempowered helps them to keep up their solidarity in spite of the frightening appearance of the sorcerer. Because the oppressed refuse to use violence amongst themselves, the mighty loses all power over them. This moral is as valid in the sand box as in the social and political board rooms. (5+)

Special Mention - Morocco (French) - 2002 - 109
Bousquet, Charlotte (text)
Lahrech, Noureddine (illus.)
Le défi de Zaïna
(A challenge for Zaïna)
Hay Riad, Rabat : Ed. Yomad, 2001. 151 p.
(Yemma junior)
ISBN 9954-0-0037-2
Morocco – Female teenager – Riding horse – Patriarchy – Social criticism – Emancipation
For three years, Zaïna and her horse Ijouane have participated in horse races. Together they have earned some fame. As the first female jockey in a patriarchal society, however, the orphan girl frequently meets with ridicule and envy. One day, a fire endangers the life of Ijouane. Despite her guardian's disapproval and that of Tarik, who wants to marry her, Zaïna gets her horse back on its feet and continues to work with it. In Marakesh, a last challenge awaits the two friends at the »Los Atlas Fuegos«, a group of trick riders: They ask them to jump through a burning loop. The relationship between Zaïna, who immediately arouses the readers' affections, and her horse will certainly appeal to animal lovers. Full of courage, the girl faces all the difficulties and commits herself wholeheartedly to her profession. This exciting, but also critical novel denounces the faults of a patriarchal society which discriminates against women. (9+) ☆

Morocco (French) - 2004 - 101
Ouajjou, Sonia (text/illus.)
À la recherche du trésor des Almohades
(On the search for the treasure of Almohades)
Rabat [et al.] : La Croisée des Chemins [et al.], 2002. 25 p.
(Collection Malika et Karim)
ISBN 9981-896-20-9. - 2-84272-144-6
Marrakesh – Medina/Old town centre – Treasure – Mountain – Snow
»Malika et Karim« is a series of picture books that offer an entertaining introduction to the country and people of Morocco. In this volume, the two protagonists Malika and Karim reach the city of Marrakesh and are immediately fascinated by the hustle and bustle there. When a soothsayer tells Malika she will discover a precious object inside something white, the girl automatically assumes it to be the treasure of Almohades that is said to be hidden on the snow-covered mountains close by the city. The treasure hunt begins and everybody who populates the famous city square, men and animals alike, join the children. The lively pictures perfectly illustrate the diversity of the »red city« and its region and will surely arouse people’s curiosity. (5+)

Morocco (French) - 2006 - 102
Mazini, Habib (text)
Bernet Rollande, Julie (illus.)
L’oeuf de Noé
(Noah’s egg)
Rabat : Marsam, 2004. 47 p.
ISBN 9954-21-000-8
Noah’s Ark Animals – Hostility
When God sends the big Flood, he orders Noah to build an ark and invite one pair of each animal species onboard. But the animals do not get along very well. One thing in particular causes uproar and arguments: The hen’s and the stork’s eggs have disappeared. While a council led by the owl, the goat, and the squirrel tries to solve this mystery, the various species live in a climate of hate and revenge. The biblical story serves as background for the subtle and humorous explanations of certain phenomena within the animal kingdom. Thus, the author claims that the camel and the llama chose the desert as their habitat because they suffered terrible seasickness on the Ark. And which child has never wondered why cats chase mice or why wolves hunt sheep? (7+)