By Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Photographed by Aaron Boyd
Bernardi loves to play soccer and would love to go to school too, but he and his grandfather, Babu, cannot afford to pay for schooling. Babu makes toys and Bernardi sells them at the market. Together they make enough money to get by.
One night Babu gives Bernardi a special gift — a handmade music box that plays a song Babu used to sing when he still had his voice. That night and many nights after, Bernardi falls asleep listening to Babu's song.
At the market the next Saturday, a tourist offers Bernardi so much money for the music box, he cannot resist. Now he can buy the new soccer ball he has always wanted! When Bernardi returns home his difficult dilemma is resolved in a surprising turn of events that strengthens the love he and Babu share.
Set in contemporary Tanzania, this warm and tender intergenerational story is sure to touch readers of all ages.
About the Creators
has won numerous awards for her Elizabeti series (see full list to the right). A native of Wisconsin, Stuve-Bodeen was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. She now lives in La Center, Washington, with her husband, a park ranger, and their two children.
AARON BOYD has illustrated numerous picture books, including Calling the Water Drum, Janna and the Kings, and Babu's Song for Lee & Low Books. His work has been recognized by the Children's Africana Book Award and the International Literacy Association (ILA). He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can visit him online at aaronboydart.blogspot.com.