Friday, March 29, 2013

A Good Trade

A Good Trade
by Alma Fullerton, illustrations by Karen Patkau
Pajama Press, 2012. Unpaged.  Picture Book

     Every morning Kato wakes at the break of dawn to carry his two jerry cans to the borehole to get water for his family.  It's a good long walk from home, but Kato goes cheerfully along, enjoying the beautiful dawn and the greenery.  Going back is harder with the cans full, one balanced on his head and one swinging at his side.  When his other chores are finished, Kato runs to the garden and finds one lovely white poppy.  Carefully picking it, he takes it into the village to the aid workers' truck, where he makes a really good trade, for himself and for his friends. A Good Trade is a lovely little book which communicates in a few pages the beauties and sorrows of Uganda. Her open-hearted, hard-working people and the beauty of the land are shown in both word and picture. The poverty of the village is also apparent, as is the unspoken threat indicated by soldiers guarding the fields of cattle. A Good Trade would be a perfect beginning picture book to share with young children to show them what life is like for young people in faraway places.

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