On his trek to get water for the day, a Ugandan boy sees a treasure in an aid truck, and he finds just the right gift to trade for it.
This moving story is so understated that readers and listeners in this country may need some help to understand Kato’s situation. For a barefoot boy from a small village in a struggling country, brightly colored new sneakers are a treasure. For an aid worker in a war-torn world, a single flower can give joy. The illustrations, apparently digital collage, spread across two pages, showing the tiny village in a vast countryside. The round houses have conical, thatched roofs; chickens peck in the courtyards. Armed soldiers stand guard at fenced-in cattle pastures. Kato carries his water from a faraway pump, one heavy jerrycan expertly balanced on his head, another hanging from his hand. At the end, he and his friends dance, though one wears his new shoe on the end of a wooden leg. 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)