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When Kondi tells his older brother, Ufulu that he is going to make a Galimoto, Ufulu laughs at him. Where in the village will Kondi find enough wire to shape into a truck, a car, even a bicycle? "A boy with only seven years cannot make such a toy," says Ufulu. But Kondi is determined to have his very own galimoto by the end of the day.

In Catherine Stock's vibrant watercolors, the busy life of an African village forms a fascinating backdrop to the satisfying story of a boy who makes his dream come true.


Behind the Story

I was intrigued with galimotos and the children who made them from the first time I saw one in Africa. This story began as a paragraph in an article I wrote about games and toys African children make. It didn’t sell but I was passionate about galimotos. Next I wrote a very long, boring story about a boy who builds a galimoto, sells it and earns money to go to school. It was terrible. I never even sent it to a publisher. Finally after listening to an editor, Dick Jackson and one of my favorite authors, Cynthia Rylant speak at a conference, I knew how I should write this book.

I was inspired by the children who build these complex artistic sculptures out of almost nothing. They are creative, imaginative works of art. The materials are simple but the children practice to make these often intricate, life-like structures.

Illustrator: Catherine Stock

Publisher: HarperCollins/Lothrop, Lee & Shepard

Buy the book: Amazon


Download the Teacher's Guide for this book. [980 KB PDF]


© 2013 Karen Lynn Williams