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Orca Book Publishers Fall 2016 Trade

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The Matatu
By (author): Eric Walters Illustrated by: Eva Campbell
9781459812963 Paperback, Picture book, Flaps English Juvenile: Grade (CAN) from P - K, Grade (US) from P - K, Reading age from 3 - 5 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / Africa Aug 23, 2016
$10.95 CAD
Active 8.75 x 10.75 x 0.2 in 32 pages full color images FSC certified – mixed sources 32 Orca Book Publishers
Aesop Accolades 2012, Winner CCBC Choices selection 2013, Short-listed Silver Birch Express Award nomination 2013, Short-listed Golden Oak Award nominee 2013, Short-listed CCBC Best Books 2012, Commended Children's Africana Book Awards Best Books for Young Children selection 2013, Commended Rainforest of Reading nominee 2013, Short-listed
Come along for an African bus ride with a dog, a goat and a sheep!

Kioko has been watching the matatus come and go for as long as he can remember. On his fifth birthday, he gets the chance to climb aboard one with his grandfather. As the matatu pulls away from the market, several village dogs chase after it. Kioko wonders why the dogs always bark and chase after matatus. When he asks his grandfather about it, his grandfather tells Kioko an entertaining tale about a dog, a goat and a sheep. Set in East Africa and inspired by a Kamba folktale, The Matatu is a colorful story filled with unexpected twists and turns.

Eric Walters, Member of the Order of Canada, began writing in 1993 as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. He has since published more than a hundred novels and picture books. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. He lives in Guelph, Ontario. For more information, visit

Eva Campbell was born in Ghana and spent her childhood in Barbados and Jamaica. She studied painting at the College of Art in Ghana (BA) and the University of Victoria (MFA). Eva has had numerous art exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Ghana, Barbados and Britain. Currently she is the visual arts teacher at Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit

"Oil paintings provide realistic details of contemporary rural Kenya but include a few spreads in which the animals humorously take on anthropomorphic characteristics. The author's note, drawing upon his Kenyan experiences, will amuse adults...The love and respect shown between Kioko and his grandfather is both universal and sweetly evident." - Kirkus Reviews

"Campbell fills her oil paintings with bright colors and commotion, portraying her animals with trickster-like characteristics. Walters offers tender insight into a grandfather and grandson relationship, while depicting a unique cultural experience." - Publishers Weekly

"With a wry mix of realism and folklore, Walters draws on his work in rural Kenya to tell the story of Kioko...Campbell’s bright, mischievous watercolors show the passengers on the crowded seats with the conductor picking his way down the aisle collecting fares, along with close-up images of Kioko as he listens to his beloved grandpa tell a story while they drive through dusty roads past huts, houses, and market stalls. Along with the vivid setting, there is a playful story based on a Kamba folktale...The bond between Kioko and his grandpa will grab kids, and so will the sly twist when the boy tries to fix things and change the old folktale." - Booklist

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