Sister Shako and Kolo, the Goat: Memories of My Childhood in Turkey

Vedat Dalokay, Author, Peter Catalanotto, Illustrator, Guner Ener, Translator HarperCollins $14 (96p) ISBN 978-0-688-13271-2
Dalokay (d. 1991), a one-time mayor of Ankara and an architect, offers his reminiscences about growing up as the grandson of the ``landlord'' of a small Turkish village. The translator, a friend of Dalokay's, mentions that this work received a number of literary awards in Turkey and adds that ``the people seemed familiar to me, totally realistic. Yet the story was full of fantasy and poetry.'' Though Ener's smooth, melodic translation preserves the latter elements, these often cryptic vignettes will seem anything but familiar or realistic to American youngsters. Brief tales center on young Dalokay's friendship with Sister Shako, a reclusive, eccentric widow whose life revolves around caring for her seven goats, including the unusual, temperamental Kolo. The narrative is filled with sometimes obscure symbolism as well as references to local customs, expressions and lore (many of which are clarified by footnotes). Adults rather than young readers may well be this book's most appreciative audience. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
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