Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘a-good-trade’

Book Trailer for A Good Trade

Posted on March 15th, 2013 by pajamapress

To mark the American publication of A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton and Karen Patkau, Pajama Press is releasing a brand new book trailer. Click on the link below to view the video.

A Good Trade Book Trailer

You can also view the trailer on YouTube.

A Good Trade is “simple yet soulful”—Publishers Weekly

Posted on March 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

AGoodTrade_Jacket_Aug28.indd“Patkau (One Watermelon Seed) offers simple yet soulful digital collages that gracefully supplement Fullerton’s (Libertad) understated storytelling in this book set in a Ugandan village…The double gesture of kindness—the good trade—projects a strong spirit of generosity and gratitude, traits as universal as the appeal of a gift of cool new sneakers. Ages 5–up.”

Click here to read the full review.

School Library Journal praises A Good Trade

Posted on February 25th, 2013 by pajamapress

Gr 1-3–Kato, a young Ugandan boy, serves his family by filling jerry cans with a day’s worth of water each morning. His journey to the borehole takes him down hills, past cattle fields, and by soldiers standing guard. On this particular day, he pauses on his way back into town to peek inside an aid worker’s truck and sees that it is filled with shoes. While finishing his chores, he finds a white poppy in the field and picks it for the aid worker who gives the village children new shoes, the “good trade” of the title. The illustrations are bright and geometric, computer-generated but quite textural, appearing almost mixed media. The large images are full of subtle details that show the lifestyle and daily activities common in the small, lush village. The text is spare and poetic and the pictures capture the tone and supply the bulk of the information. Young readers will enjoy this sweet day-in-the-life snapshot.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA

Spirituality & Practice reviews A Good Trade

Posted on February 13th, 2013 by pajamapress

“…Alma Fullerton has written this simple but eloquent account of how giving is a boon to both the giver and the recipient. A wise Chinese proverb says: “A lot of fragrance always clings to the hand of one that gives roses.” That is certainly true of Kato. Hats off to Fullerton and illustrator Karen Patkau for this touching African tale about generosity and kindness!” —Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

Click here to read the full review.

Alma Fullerton writes about shoes at The 4:00 Book Hook

Posted on February 6th, 2013 by pajamapress

The 4:00 Book Hook is a newsletter released bimonthly by a group of seven children’s book authors. In the current issue, author Alma Fullerton talks about her most recent book, A Good Trade, and why a new pair of shoes is so important to its protagonist—and to kids around the world.

“…I think it’s important for [children] to learn that even in North America, where children are expected to have two pairs of shoes for school every year, we have families that have to choose between groceries or shoes for their children.

It’s estimated that over 300 million children in developing nations don’t have shoes, and in many of those countries children cannot attend school without them. Could you imagine not being able to afford even a pair of flip flops for your child to go to school? Or if you could only afford one pair, imagine having to choose which child to send to school? For these families a pair of shoes can change the life and futures of their children
drastically.

In places like Uganda, where A GOOD TRADE is set, shoes can not only change a life, they can save one…”—Alma Fullerton

To read the full article—and to get lots of other great book news—click here for a free e-subscription to The 4:00 Book Hook.

Kirkus gives A Good Trade a Starred Review

Posted on February 1st, 2013 by pajamapress

AGoodTrade_Jacket_Aug28.indd“…On each spread, a few lines of spare text carry the story in a predictable pattern, a pleasure to read aloud. Page by page, verbs describe Kato’s experience as he wakes, skips, races, treks, fills, hauls, dawdles, hurries, runs, kneels, weaves, gives and dances.

Expertly crafted, Fullerton’s first picture book reminds readers of the pleasure of small things. (Picture book. 5-9)”

Click here to read the full review.

Canadian Children’s Book News recommends A Good Trade

Posted on January 25th, 2013 by pajamapress

“Every morning at dawn, Kato leaves his Ugandan village to begin his challenging barefoot hike to fetch water. Carrying two jerry cans, the boy traverses through grass, down hills, and past cattle in fields guarded by soldiers. When he reaches the village well, he fills the cans with a day’s supply of water. After splashing his weary, dusty feet, Kato begins his long trek home, conveying the heavy containers on his head and in his hand. An aid worker’s truck near the village square catches his attention. The child becomes so excited by what he spots inside the vehicle that he dashes home to look for something special to present to the aid worker in exchange for the life-altering gift… a single white poppy from his garden for brand new shoes!

Alma Fullerton introduces us to the life of a young boy living in a war-torn country. Readers will quickly deduce that Kato’s days are fraught with hardship and danger as well as joy. The text is brief and subtle, yet descriptive enough so that we can feel Kato’s energy as well as his weariness, hear the splash of water and the laughter of the children, and sense the menacing presence of the watchful soldiers. Witness Kato’s elation when he finds the perfect gift to give to the aid worker: “Rushing through his chores, Kato runs to the garden and stops when he spies the single white poppy. Tenderly, he kneels to pick it. Between bouncy children, Kato weaves, cradling the poppy, careful not to crush it.”

Karen Patkau’s evocative digital illustrations provide further illuminating details about Kato’s environment: the Ugandan village where he lives, the territory traversed en route to get water, the changing hues of the sky, the brilliant colours of the children’s clothing, the friend with the artificial leg, the exquisiteness of the white poppy. The artwork is a perfect match for Fullerton’s understated text. Together they provide an enriching insight into one boy’s life in a distant country, and the preciousness of peace and goodwill.”

—Senta Ross is a former elementary teacher and teacher-librarian in Kitchener, Ontario.

For a subscription to Canadian Children’s Book News, visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

A Good Trade sparks deep thoughts at the Library of Clean Reads

Posted on January 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

“A simple but powerful story on the value of a gift. I read this book with my son and we had a wonderful discussion on the lives of other children in distant lands and the value we place on material objects. I could see it made him reflect deeply.

…With few words and illustrations that use earth tone colors with splashes of bright, patterned ones, this book conveys a heartwarming story about a boy who, despite living in a country ravaged by a generation of civil war and drought, can find joy in the gift of shoes and likewise show gratitude. This story opened up many questions for my eight-year old son. Where does the aid-worker get the things to give to the village? Can we also send shoes to children in Africa who are barefoot?”
Laura Fabiani

Click here to read the full post.

Resource Links calls A Good Trade “eloquently told, beautifully illustrated, and heartfelt”

Posted on January 12th, 2013 by pajamapress

Rated G: Good, even great at times, generally useful!

“Alma Fullerton, author of the award-winning novel Libertad, has created a simple and poignant story about the power of humanitarianism, gratitude, and simple acts of kindness.

In his poverty-stricken Ugandan village, one of young Kato’s daily jobs is to make the long trek to the village well to fill his two jerry cans with water. On this day, like all others, Kato passes by other groups of barefoot children along his way, as well as soldiers guarding fields of animals. When he arrives back to the village square, he notices an aid worker’s truck, and is overjoyed when he spots what is inside. He rushes to a field he passed earlier to pick the single poppy that grows there. Kato is first in line when the aid worker begins handing out her treasures to all of the village’s children—brand new pairs of shoes— and presents her in turn with all that he has to offer her, a beautiful symbol of peace.

A Good Trade is an eloquently told, beautifully illustrated, and heartfelt story. The children in the book, and Kato in particular, appear to be filled with a deep down happiness and certain light heartedness in spite of their country’s harsh situation. It is quite evident that they do not see their lives as being ones of misfortune, wheras it is simply their reality, and they are at peace with it. As a result, this story could serve as a humble reminder to children to be grateful not only for the material things they have that are normally taken for granted, but for the privilege of living in a country where they do not have to experience this type of day to day existence.

While there have been a few similar offerings in past years, such as Charlotte Blessing’s New Old Shoes, this story—with its simple message told through the eyes of a child who so joyously celebrates the good fortune bestowed upon his village—will have a definite place on library shelves.”

Thematic links: Uganda; War; Poverty; Gratitude.

—Nicole Rowlinson

Canadian Materials Highly Recommends A Good Trade

Posted on January 4th, 2013 by pajamapress

coverAs educators, we often tell our young students to look at the pictures when we read. The pictures reveal clues that will help us read the story and to better understand it. The images and text of A Good Trade complement one another to the point of poetic consistency. The text and the images are both complex and simple: concept easy, content load heavy. The prose is lyrical, playful and inviting to young listeners or readers with words such as “poppy” and “rut-filled hill”. Yet, there are potential story-stopping words too: “Jerry cans”, “borehole”, and “aid worker”. For every challenging word, however, there is a corresponding image, pictures simple enough to convey meaning and yet complex in colour and perspective. One image shows only the upper portion of Kato’s face as he peeks into the back of an aid worker’s truck to find many pairs of colourful shoes.

The message of A Good Trade is equally daring. Author and illustrator have created a marvelous balance of apathy and respect. When Kato presents a rare white poppy flower to the aid worker, she honours his present with her own: shoes for all his friends. One of his friends is missing a leg. An allusion to soldiers indicates that war and trouble are constants in Kato’s village in Uganda.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end. It will make an excellent discussion starter in social studies classes (as a supplement up to grade seven) and as a read-aloud  in K-2.

Highly Recommended.

A children’s author, David Ward is an assistant professor at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR.

Click here to read the full review.