Pair a Book with a Fair Trade Toy

Looking for a gift for that kid who seems to have everything? Make a book come to life by pairing it with a fair trade toy or other goodie. Here are three suggestions, followed by a list of places to find toys that battle poverty:

Beaded Necklace / KENYA

14 Cows for America
by Carmen A. Deedy and Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah

An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.

Soccer Ball / MOROCCO

The Butter Man by Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou

As young Nora waits impatiently for her mother to come home from work and for her father to serve the long-simmering couscous that smells so delicious, her father tells her about his childhood in Morocco. During a famine, when Nora's grandfather had to travel far to find work and bring food for the family, her father learned the valuable life lessons of patience, perseverance, and hope.

Mermaid Doll / HAITI

Selavi: That is Life by Youme Landowne

Selavi is befriended by other children living on the streets in Haiti. They look out for one another, sharing food and companionship. Together they find the voice to express the needs of Timoun Lari, the children who live in the streets.

Places to Shop

The Fair Trade Federation lists 126 organizations selling toys made by the poor (go here, click on "toys" and "do search" to see them), but here are few recommended by my faithful twitter and facebook friends (if you know of more, please add them in the comments):

10,000 Villages

Gifts With Humanity

Global Exchange

Handcrafting Justice

Inca Kids

Planet Happy Toys

Shima Boutique

Trade as One

Yellow Label Kids


Christine M said…
What a great idea, Mitali!
Tockla said…
Such a fantastic concept! This entry will be bookmarked and referenced in the future. A perfect holiday idea...
susan259 said…
This is a wonderful idea. I'm so glad you took my 20 minutes of research and turned it into something really cool.
Marie said…
What a nice idea! :-)
tanita davis said…

You ROCK! How you manage to find such things is beyond me. Thank you!!
debbie said…
You always have such clever and generous ideas!
Inca Kids Team said…
Thank you for mentioning Inca Kids ( we work exclusively with skilled yet unprivileged artisans in Peru. All our toys are handmade using traditional techniques and safe/natural materials. They are also affordable, interesting, colorful and versatile.