By Kirkus Reviews
In this realistic tale of a young boy in Tanzania, Stuve-Bodeen, a former Peace Corps volunteer, explores the relationship between Bernardi, who wants nothing more than to attend school and get a real soccer ball, and his grandfather, a wonderfully creative toymaker who has lost his ability to speak. When Babu makes a special music box for the boy that actually plays a song he often sang when he could, Bernardi sells it with much regret to a tourist who offers him a large sum of money. The boy longs to buy the soccer ball with his profit, but feels so guilty that he gives the money to Babu. Wisely, Babu pays school tuition, buys a uniform and makes a soccer ball out of plastic and string. Impressionistic watercolors depict the houses, marketplaces, and people of Tanzania… warmly told.