The Children's Book Compass

A Maasai Story

Posted on: November 14, 2011

Only the Mountains Do Not Move: A Maasai Story of Culture and Conservation by Jan Reynolds.  (2011).  Pages not numbered.  Lee & Low Books.  Grades  1-6.  Nonfiction.

This book is another in a series that author-photographer, Jan Reynolds, creates with stunning photographs and informative text about different cultures.   In this book the reader learns about the Maasai, their traditional life style and how it is threatened by changes in their environment.  Reynolds includes Maasai Proverbs throughout the text.  The proverbs, “Daylight follows a dark night,”  “The children are the bright moon,” demonstrate the Maasai’s wisdom and sense of humor.  Reynold’s rich, powerful photographs show the daily life of the people.  The book appears to be authentic because Reynolds and her son lived with one of the Maasai tribes who allowed her to ask questions and take pictures.   Added features like, a map of Africa, an Author’s Note, a Glossary and Pronunciation Guide as well as Source Notes and Acknowledgments enrich the text and the reader’s understanding.

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