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):
Gifts With Humanity
Planet Happy Toys
Trade as One
Yellow Label Kids