When Karen Lynn Williams was growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, her dream was to become the youngest novelist ever. At the age of ten, she formed a writing group with some of her friends. They would lounge around on pillows and in old stuffed chairs in her basement and write for hours. When Karen hadn't produced the hoped-for novel by the age of twelve, she gave up on her dream of early publication, but not on writing. Although it took longer than she initially thought it would, eventually Karen became the award-winning author of such books as Baseball and Butterflies (a novel) and Galimoto and Painted Dreams, both picture books illustrated by Catherine Stock. Karen Lynn Williams lives with her husband, Steven, and their children, Peter, Christopher, Rachel, and Jonathan, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Catherine Stock lives in New York City and France.
Kondi, a seven-year-old African boy, decides to make a galimoto --a toy vehicle--out of scraps of wire. He finds some wire in his shoebox of treasures, but it's not enough, so Kondi searches out more pieces of wire. He visits the shop run by his uncle, who gives Kondi the wires from some packing boxes. The miller lets him take wire from a pile of old motor parts in back of the flour mill. A girl playing on an ant-hill trades Kondi a long piece of wire for a stick, which (he convinces her) is a much better instrument for catching ants. As this determined, very likable boy gradually accumulates enough material to make his galimoto , Williams's gentle text and Stock's soft watercolors capture the essence of life in a contemporary African village. Children from all corners of the world will warm to this tale of a boy's persistence and not-so-small accomplishment. Ages 5-8. (Mar.)
Gr 1-3-- When seven-year-old Kondi decides to fashion a galimoto (a generic term for various push-toys made from wires and sticks), his older brother is convinced that a small boy should not undertake such a difficult project. Besides, the elder brother reminds him, Kondi does not have enough wire to make a toy. Readers follow the clever boy through his small African village on his quest to obtain the precious material from adults and other children through persuasion and old-fashioned know-how. Although he encounters many obstacles in his search, Kondi's persistence is rewarded. Stock's bright watercolor illustrations energize this quiet tale. Readers will cheer Kondi as he sees his goal realized. A good read-aloud choice. --Denia Lewis Hester, Dewey School, Evanston, IL
"A joy to read aloud. The story's strength is in the subtly stated message that persistence and creativity can make dreams come true in spite of the odds." -- New York Times Book Review"Williams's gentle text and Stock's soft watercolors capture the essence of life in a contemporary African village. Children from all corners of the world will warm to this tale." -- Publishers Weekly