Monday, September 4, 2017

PBT Series Grab & Go #11 - 14 Cows for America

The anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11/2001 is nearing so I thought I’d offer a repost of an inspirational story resulting from that event.  Today my feature is a part of the PBT Grab & Go Series featuring books that would be easy lessons for faith families. 14 Cows for America quickly inspires thinking and conversation about compassion, generosity, and international relationships. This picture book was offered in a Dynamic Duo during PBT's first year. I paired it with another story in which Africans responded generously to American suffering. Check out that post [here].
Picture Book: 14 Cows for America
Author: Carmen Agra Deedy
Illustrator: Thomas Gonzalez
Collaborator: Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah
Summary: Months after the World Trade Towers were destroyed, a Kenyan student, who was in New York City on that day, returned to his beloved Maasai tribe and shared the story. Greatly affected by the terrible events, Kimeli asked the elders to ceremoniously bless the giving of his only cow, a valuable gift. For the Maasai, the cow is life. This ritual is seen as a way of taking on some of America’s pain. Moved by the story, the elders agreed. When an American diplomat came to the blessing ceremony, his country was given not 1 but 14 cows. This true story of international compassion and generosity has been shared around the globe and continues to inspire. 
Hanna’s Comments: Although this story is about Kenyan Maasai and the USA, it is a story that can bless those in any community in which international connections are valued and compassion ignores borders. Be sure to read Kimeli’s Afterward. This book is the first in a PBT Dynamic Duo. Tomorrow’s PBT offering is another picture book involving an African tribe’s desire to give to a suffering New York City during The Great Depression of the 1930s.  
Original Publisher & Date: Peachtree Publishers, 2009
Age and Grade Appropriateness:  7 and up, 2nd and up
Available in Spanish? Yes
Formats other than Book: Find more information at, including a Teacher’s Guide and news of the flag commemorating this gift.
Scripture Connections: Giving to the poor (Proverbs 19:17, 25:21, 28:27), To the least of these (Matthew 25), the Gentile churches give to the suffering in the Jerusalem church (Romans 15: 22-29, 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, 2 Corinthians 8: 1-15)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book as part of a sermon or lesson about giving across international borders when a community is suffering.

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