One Night: a story from the desert



In this picture book for older children, Muhamad spends his first night alone in the desert tending to a new mother goat and her kid. Told in Muhamad’s voice, the story reflects the culture of the Tuareg, a nomadic people with strong ties to family and the desert way of life. Kessler’s poetic text has rhythm and repetition and Schoenherr’s artwork is striking. —Booklist, boxed review

This lovely book, with its descriptions of the desert terrain and bits of tribal wisdom, provides an informative glimpse at a distant lifestyle that will be useful in the classroom and as a read-aloud.

“Before I see camp I hear the thunk-thunk of mortar and pestle. The sweet smell of fresh tea floats on the air. The distant voices of herders calling their herds fill my ears.”

In these days of growing intolerance it’s important to give kids a look at other cultures so they will know that different isn’t better or worse, good or bad—just different. It is particularly relevant right now,. This book shows the gentle and more common side of Islam, and makes kids realize all that they share.

Muhamad loves his family, above all, just like any other kid in the world—of any religion.

One Night—a story from the desert received a boxed review from Booklist, a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, and a very positive review from the New York Times. It was also recognized by:

  • A Book Links “A Few Good Books of the Year” Selection, 1995,
  • A Bank Street College “Best Books of 1995” Selection
  • One Night was also included in an educational game in the U.K. in 1998, which was presented in the Literature Section of the Guardian newspaper. This game is still regarded as a good resource for cross-cultural topics.
  • Librarian’s Choice for the Multi-Cultural Literary Curriculum in the U.K.
  • BBC Radio presented Muhamad’s Desert Night (the British re-print) on their summer reading program for kids in 2007.

In 2009 the Smithsonian’s Museum of African Art invited me to do two reading programs of One Night.
Special now—$9.00 a copy plus $2.75 media rate shipping. All copies will be signed to whoever specified a child, school or public library.

Thanks for helping me share the good news with all kids.