a children’s book review
Galimoto, written by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Catherine Stock, takes place in the West African nation of Malawi. If you look carefully at the title on the cover you can see that the letters are formed with wire. In the national language of Malawi, Galimoto, means car. Children use old wires, sticks, and pieces of yam to shape cars, truck, bicycles, and other vehicles. Kondi is determined to make a galimoto from the scraps his old shoe box.
I love this book for several reasons:
- the soft watercolor pictures so accurately depict village life in the Africa I visited many years ago.
- the piles of trash remind me that nothing is wasted in villages with limited resources
- the bright colors of the women’s clothes display the creative work of weavers and those who make the garments
- and the determination of Kondi Despite the negative reactions he encounters, he won’t give up.
I used this book to teach students about culture, resourcefulness, and resilience. One of the characteristics of resilient children is that they can make something out of nothing. This would be a great story for a grandparent to read to a grandchild and add personal experiences of hard times or “making do” with what you have.
You’ll have to read the book to see the clever galimoto Kondi created for himself.
My thanks today are for beautiful children’s books with well written stories. (I think I’ve finally broken my habit of buying children’s books – except for gifts to the great nieces and nephews!)