about the book
“Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the fertile Kingdom of Morocco formed near the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains of cool, delicious water to quench the dangerous thirst of the desert, and storytellers to bring the people together.”
Over time, the dangers of the desert were forgotten and so were the storytellers.
Then one young boy, searching for a drop to drink, went to the Great Square. All the fountains were dry, but an old man called out.
“Sit down, my boy, and your thirst shall be quenched.” As the boy listened to the storyteller, his bowl fills with water! Day after day, he returns to the square to hear stories and have his bowl refilled.
about the author/illustrator
While growing up in Colorado, Evan Turk loved writing and illustrating picture books. Not much has changed! Most of those early stories centered on whatever obscure animal he was currently interested in, such as a spoonbill, a sloth, or an ostrich. The stories were all very dramatic, like the Disney movies he watched over and over again.
His senior project at Parsons School of Design was a children’s book and animation about a boy in India. During his three-minute presentation, an art director from Simon & Schuster was on the critique panel and made it clear she wanted to talk to Evan afterward. For about ten years, she’d had the manuscript of Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Gandhi and had been looking for the right illustrator. As it turned out, Evan was the right one!
Evan loves travelling and learning about different people and their cultures. For his book The Storyteller, he went to Morocco to see everything first-hand. While there, two artists taught Evan how to use indigo and an “invisible ink” that reveals an image when held over a gas flame. The “ink” was very sugary green tea! He ended up using this technique when illustrating The Storyteller.
He also loves to make ceramics. If he weren’t a children’s author and illustrator, he’d like to be an international social journalist because he’d still get to travel and learn about people and places.
Evan lives in Jackson Heights, Queens, with his husband and two cats, Pica and Bert.
Author/Illustrator spotlight: Publisher’s Weekly
Author/Illustrator interview: Hunger Mountain
Author/Illustrator interview: All the Wonders
Author/Illustrator interview: Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Book trailer: The Storyteller
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