Saturday, April 17, 2010

Galimoto - Karen Lynn Williams

Illustrated by Catherine Stock
Harper Collins, 1990
32 pages
Endpapers: Dusty rose

I know, I know....this book is 20 years old and usually it's newer books that are blogged. But I've been researching books that can be used in the study of Africa and this one is a primo selection. I remember reading it years ago when it first came out, in the old Northeast Harbor Library children's room - which I miss greatly. Oh well, that's another story. I'll stick with this one...

"Galimoto means 'car' in Chichewa, the national language of Malawi, Africa. it is also the name for a type of push toy made by children. Old wires -- or sticks, cornstalks, and pieces of yam -- are shaped into cars, trucks, bicycles, trains, and helicopters. All of these intricate toys are known as galimoto (GAL-lee-moe-toe)."

One day Kondi starts looking everywhere for wire so that he can build a galimoto. He starts in the shoebox in which he keeps his treasured possessions. From there he goes to places around his village where he thinks he might be able to obtain more. During this day we learn about his village and his people's way of life. The illustrations that Catherine Stock drew - she notes that she traveled there to capture everything correctly - really help to realize the setting.

When I share this with my fourth graders - and I will - we are going to create galimotos. This will be right up their alley!

Good story. Great illustrations.

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