“I emptied my secret money box, arranged the coins in piles and the piles in rows . . .” The market is full of wonderful things, but Saruni is saving his precious coins for a red and blue bicycle. How happy he will be when he can help his mother carry heavy loads to market on his very own bicycle—and how disappointed he is to discover that he hasn’t saved nearly enough! Determination and generosity are at the heart of this satisfying tale set in Tanzania and illustrated with glowing watercolors that capture the warmth of Saruni’s family and the excitement of market day.
Tololwa M. Mollel, an Arusha Maasai from Tanzania, grew up on his grandfather's coffee farm. He has a B.A. from the University of Dar es Salaam and a M.A. from the University of Alberta, Canada. The author of many picture books, he has published ten with Clarion. He lives in Edmonton, Canada.
"The characters shine in this well and simply told tale, with its neatly, but not too deeply, buried lesson."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Many children will relate to what it's like to save, plan, and count towards a dream" — Booklist
"A warm family story contains several universal childhood experiences: the pride in persevering and gaining a new skill and in making an unselfish contribution to the family. . . . the fluid, light-splashed watercolor illustrations lend a sense of place and authenticity. Watching Saruni's savings mount visu-ally is a nice touch. . . . Deft and effective." — School Library Journal (starred review)
"In an ending that makes this selfless hero an inspiration to readers, Saruni contemplates using his savings to buy a cart to pull behind his bike, to further lighten the loads his mother must carry. Lewis's engaging and lifelike paintings convincingly portray a range of images and emotions, including the verdant Tanzanian landscape and bustling marketplace, and, most affectingly, the strong bond between this boy and his loving parents." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)