A land of geographical extremes and diverse cultures, Morocco has captured our imagination. And we know it’ll inspire your family, too. Moroccan culture is rich with beautiful tales that underscore a storytelling tradition thousands of years in the making. This colorful nation has also inspired a new generation of authors and illustrators, and we couldn’t feel more excited about their gorgeous children’s books.
From folkloric tales about the life-giving force of water to a glimpse into the inner workings of a rug shop, here are three great books about Morocco to introduce kids to this exotic, vibrant land.
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
In The Storyteller, author and illustrator Evan Turk weaves a fascinating tale of Morocco’s folkloric past. Rich with stunning metaphors and steeped in ancient traditions, this enthralling tale will transport you and your children into exotic lands. A story within a story, Turk uses age-old literary elements and beautiful watercolor illustrations to introduce kids to the art of Moroccan storytelling.
The metaphor of water abounds, symbolizing not only a life-giving force but also the power of storytelling itself. Just as the characters in the book need water to physically survive, so they need folktales to nourish their souls and enrich their cultural identity. The book also explores other important themes including hope, creativity, and sharing, while teaching kids about Morocco and its varied landscapes.
The Butter Man by Elizabeth Letts, Ali Alalou, and Julie Klear Essakalli
Co-authored by Elizabeth Letts and Ali Alalou and illustrated by Julie Klear Essakalli, The Butter Man highlights one of Morocco’s most unique and iconic cultures, the Imazighen or Berbers. It also underscores a heartwarming relationship between a daughter, Nora, and her father as he reminisces about his own childhood in Morocco.
Sharing bittersweet memories, Nora’s father describes his early days living in the High Atlas Mountains and some of the challenges his Berber family faced, including famine. With plot elements similar to Jack and the Beanstalk, the tale culminates in the return of rain and an end to the famine. You and your kids will feel enveloped in the rich traditions of the Berber culture as you read along together. You’ll also gain new insights into this lovely Moroccan region.
My Father’s Shop by Satomi Ichikawa
Written and illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa, My Father’s Shop takes us deep into the mysterious world of Moroccan souks or marketplaces. In the tale, we’re introduced to the owner of a rug shop and his son, Mustafa. Mustafa’s father tirelessly works to teach his boy a variety of foreign language phrases so that Mustafa can help out in the shop. But mischievous Mustafa has other plans.
After sneaking out of his father’s shop wearing a brightly colored carpet with a hole in it, he meets a rooster whose plumage matches that of the carpet. Before Mustafa and the rooster know it, they’ve drawn a huge crowd back to his father’s shop. The crowd talks excitedly about what roosters sound like in each of their respective homelands, from France to Japan and Spain. And Mustafa feels proud and excited about his ability to attract new visitors to his father’s shop while learning foreign languages. This vibrant tale, coupled with its stunning watercolors, will delight you and your little ones.
Morocco for Kids
These books about Morocco for kids will introduce your family to this nation’s rich, ancient cultures. These tales will also give you a window into some of the amazing landscapes and places that you can still visit in this exotic land.
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We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft for families just like yours.