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Updated: Jul 25

Shortly after its release, in the spring of 2008, HAF teamed up with the authors of the children’s book The Butter Man, Ali Alalou and Elizabeth Letts Alalou (RPCV Morocco 1983-1986), to share their Moroccan tale of “patience, perseverance, and hope” with HAF friends and supporters.

If you missed out on purchasing a signed copy of The Butter Man at one of HAF’s book signing events don’t despair! You’ll be happy to know that all Founders’ Circlemembers receive a complimentary singed copy when they make a gift of $250 or more to HAF – it is our way of saying thank you to our core supporters (forty and growing!) and sharing a small part of Morocco with you.

Weaving between the present and past, this picture book introduces readers to Berber culture in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. While young Nora impatiently waits for couscous to cook, her father tells her about a famine during his childhood. Food was so scarce that his father left home to find work. Baba’s resourceful mother helped him stay busy so he did not dwell on hunger. Eventually, his father returned home with food and, ultimately, the rains came.   -School Library Journal

The book has garnered notable awards, including: • A Junior Library Guild Selectionn • Storytellers World Award Honor Book • A Charlotte Zolotow Highly Commended Book • Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People • A Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choice • Bank Street College’s The Best Children’s Books of the Year • Peace Corps Writers Award – Award for Best Children’s Writing

The book’s illustrator, Julie Klear Essakalli was inspired by the beauty and rawness of many trips to the High Atlas Mountains. Julie based her illustrations on the remote Amazigh village of Zig Zaoun, a perfectly nestled, magical, and untouched farming village, dating back several centuries. This picturesque village provided for the perfect backdrop for Ali’s surroundings in the story.  Julie lives in Marrakech, Morocco with her husband and business partner Moulay Essakalli and their two children. She is the co-founder & creative director of the award-winning company, Zid Zid Kids – and of course a proud supporter of the High Atlas Foundation!

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