Posted on September 30th, 2013 by pajamapress
“Patkau’s bright illustrations originally caught my eye. I grabbed this lyrical book to teach my children about a corner of the world they have no other way to experience. Fullerton shows life in this war-torn part of the world in an age-appropriate way.”
— Kristin W. Larson
Click here to discover the recommended activities to teach this book.
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Posted on May 23rd, 2013 by pajamapress
“Something for the Young’Uns: Books with International Appeal”
“A Good Trade, by Alma Fullerton. This is the story of Kato, a young boy growing up in a Ugandan village. His daily routine includes chores and a long walk at dawn to the water hole.
One day, the routine is disrupted: an aid worker brings a life-changing gift of shoes for all
the village children, and Kato feels compelled to give her something precious is return. A good story to use when discussing life in rural Africa.”
For more information about The International Educator, visit the TIE Online website.
Posted on April 18th, 2013 by pajamapress
On March 18 we announced that A Good Trade had been selected for The White Ravens 2013, a list of outstanding international books for children and young adults. Today we bring you the review A Good Trade received in the White Ravens catalogue:
“Kato lives in a small village in Uganda. He wakes early because his daily chores include trekking to the well outside the village and fetching the water his family will need during the day in two large jerry cans. On his way back, he spots an aid-worker’s lorry that carries wonderful gifts. Kato would love to offer the aid-worker something in return—and in the family garden, he finds just the right thing: a beautiful white poppy. In this deceptively simple and positive story of a little boy’s daily life in an African village, readers will discover subtle hints and overt references to the effects of civil war both in the quiet text and the brightly coloured digital illustrations. Thus the book will serve as a wonderful incentive to discuss this serious topic with younger and older children alike. (Ages 6+)”
Click here to learn more about the White Ravens.
Posted on September 20th, 2012 by pajamapress
“To most North American children, being able to turn on a tap and have clean water come out is a given. The latest book from Alma Fullerton, with illustrations by Karen Patkau, should open children’s eyes to the fact that not everyone is so lucky.
A Good Trade portrays a day in the life of Kato, a young Ugandan boy who rises with the sun and travels barefoot to the water pump just outside his village to collect a day’s worth of water for his family. On this particular day, an aid worker comes to the village square with a delightful gift, and Kato is inspired to reciprocate her kindness.
Fullerton uses simple prose to relay the story of Kato’s walk to the pump and back, but she notes details—the sloshing of water in the jerry cans, the rumbling of the aid worker’s truck, the armed soldiers standing sentry in a field—that paint a complete picture. Kato’s harsh reality is illustrated through tender moments as well, such as when he splashes cold water on his dusty feet before starting the long trek home.
Patkau’s distinctive digital illustrations are a pleasant complement to Fullerton’s text, capturing the terrain of the village. The greens and browns of the landscape provide a muted backdrop to the children’s brightly coloured clothing and jerry cans. The hard lines and distinct coloration make the pictures leap off the page, as in one splendid image of children pumping water that captures the vibrancy of a girl’s dress, the texture of the children’s hair, and the leafy foliage.
There is much more to this gentle story than its obvious message about the hardships faced by others. The juxtaposition of happy children in a war-torn village, and the beautiful exchange between Kato and the aid worker, portray the endurance of childhood innocence, suggesting small joys can be found in imperfect places.
–Katie Gowrie, Q&Q’s editorial intern.