A Good Trade
In a small Ugandan village, Kato wakes early to start the long barefoot trek beyond his village and along fields dotted with cattle and guarded by soldiers. As it is every day, his destination is the village well, where he will pump a day's supply of water into two jerry cans before trudging home again. But this is no ordinary day. The aid worker's truck arrives at the village square, and in the back is a gift so special, the little boy rushes home to look for something to repay the aid worker. Alma Fullerton's spare, lilting prose tells a deceptively simple story of one day in a little boy's life. But in a place ravaged by a generation of civil war and drought, a village well brings life, a gift of shoes is a cause for celebration, and a simple flower becomes an eloquent symbol of peace and gratitude.
Shortlisted for Kentucky Bluegrass Awards: K-2 2015 and Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award 2014 and White Ravens Award 2013 and Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award 2013.
A pleasure to read aloud ... Expertly crafted, Fullerton's first picture book reminds readers of the pleasure of small things. **Starred Review** Kirkus 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. Publishers Weekly The large images are full of subtle details ... The text is spare and poetic ... Young readers will enjoy this sweet day-in-the-life snapshot. School Library Journal 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. White Ravens Choices A Good Trade is an eloquently told, beautifully illustrated, and heartfelt story. Resource Links 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 ... **Highly Recommended.** CM Magazine 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. Quill & Quire 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. 'We Recommend' Canadian Children's Book News A good story to use when discussing life in rural Africa. International Educator The message here is clear, but delivered with a soft touch, reminding young readers that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. CBC Here and Now Recommendations for Children's Books The beautiful pictures and the one-sentence-per-page provide great starting points for discussing life in Uganda, world help organizations, and inequity in general. 49th Shelf
Alma Fullerton's free-verse novels for juvenile and young adult readers have earned her multiple nominations and awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and the CLA Book of the Year Honour. Her first picture book, A Good Trade, has been a White Ravens Choice, a Bank Street Best Book, and a nominee for the OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award and the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards. Alma lives in Midland, Ontario. Author, illustrator, designer, and visual artist Karen Patkau's distinctive art can be found in more than a dozen picture books for children. She is the recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats Memorial Medal for Don't Eat Spiders, and One Watermelon Seed was a Bank Street Best Book. A Good Trade is a White Ravens Choice, a Bank Street Best Book, and a nominee for the OLA Blue Spruce Award and the Kentucky Bluegrass Award, among others. Karen lives in Toronto, Ontario