Posted by: Jeanie F | November 22, 2009

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy


This lovely picture book, written by Carmen Agra Deedy in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah, tells the true story of the Maasai people’s gift to America following 9/11. Naiyomah was a Maasai studying molecular biology at Stanford University in September, 2001. At the end of that school year he returned home to Kenya and told his friends and neighbors about the terrorist attacks on New York City. The Maasai elders were moved and asked “What can we do for these poor people?”

This book tells the story of their answer to that question. To the Maasai people, cows are life. They presented fourteen cows to the American ambassador to Kenya, cows that were blessed and are considered sacred, never to be slaughtered.

These cows were given as a symbol of hope to the Maasai’s brothers and sisters in America because, as they tell us, “There is no nation so powerful it cannot be wounded, nor a people so small they cannot offer mighty comfort.”

This moving book, beautifully illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez, will be my gift this holiday season to my neice and nephews, along with a gift card to donate to the Maasai through the website In the words of Kimeli Kaiyomah,

To all the little children who read this book. You are the peace the world has been waiting for.


  1. A picture book??? My kind of reading.

  2. I think you’d like it better if the title was “14 Cows for America PREY”! Yes?

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