Mysterious travelers

19 Feb

The snow is gone, but the wind and rain are back with a vengeance. I don’t often long for hot summer days, but I’m getting close to it. I travelled to a warm land last night, while reading Mysterious Traveler 


by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham, with illustrations by P. J. Lynch. It’s not a tradition folk tale but really feels like one. It was beautiful from start to finish. Picturesque language  and lyrical prose evoke  the sights and sounds of a time and place far away,conveying the gentle love between Issa and Mariama, and the desert in all moods from calm and beautiful at sunrise, to angry and dark in a sandstorm. P.J. Lynch’s beautiful  illustrations, all done in earthy, desert tones, are both realistic and dreamlike.

Goodreads Summary: Already an old man, desert guide Issa has seen thousands of dawns. One particular morning, however, the desert reveals something new; something that changes his life. Tucked away in a narrow cave, shielded from a treacherous dust storm by a faithful camel, a baby girl lies wrapped in fine cotton and wearing half of a star medallion around her neck. Issa names the girl Mariama. As years pass, Issa loses his sight, and Mariama becomes his eyes. So Issa doesn’t see the pattern on the robes of a mysterious young traveler who comes through their village, or the medallion he wears. Who is this young stranger, and what does his arrival mean for the life Issa and Mariama share in the desert?

A funny note: the original British cover has 2 l’s in Traveller, the American only 1.

One Response to “Mysterious travelers”

  1. The Styling Librarian February 19, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    What a warm book to read on a cold day! 🙂 Interesting story, must investigate…

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