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9781927485620_cover Enlarge Cover
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $19.95
also available: Paperback
published: March 2015
publisher: Pajama Press Inc.

In a Cloud of Dust

by Alma Fullerton, illustrated by Brian Deines

reviews: 1
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africa, friendship, values & virtues
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $19.95
also available: Paperback
published: March 2015
publisher: Pajama Press Inc.

In a Tanzanian village school, Anna struggles to keep up. Her walk home takes so long that when she arrives, it is too dark to do her homework. Working through the lunch hour instead, she doesn’t see the truck from the bicycle library pull into the schoolyard. By the time she gets out there, the bikes are all gone. Anna hides her disappointment, happy to help her friends learn to balance and steer. She doesn’t know a compassionate friend will offer her a clever solution—and the chance to raise her own cloud of dust.

Brought to life by Brian Deines’ vivid oil paintings, Alma Fullerton’s simple, expressive prose captures the joy of feeling the wind on your face for the first time. Inspired by organizations like The Village Bicycle Project that have opened bicycle libraries all across Africa, In a Cloud of Dust is an uplifting example of how a simple opportunity can make a dramatic change in a child’s life.

About the Authors
Alma Fullerton's free-verse novels for juvenile and young adult readers have earned her multiple nominations and awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and the CLA Book of the Year Honour. Her first picture book, A Good Trade, has been a White Ravens Choice, a Bank Street Best Book, and a nominee for the OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award and the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards. Alma lives in Midland, Ontario.
Author profile page >

Brian Deines is a fine artist and the award-winning illustrator of over 20 children's books, including A Bear in War, Bear on the Homefront, The Road to Afghanistan, and On a Snowy Night. Dragonfly Kites, part of a trilogy written by Tomson Highway, was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award for illustration and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award. A graduate of the Alberta College of Art, Brian lives in Toronto, Ontario with his wife and daughter.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
4 to 8
k to 3
  • Short-listed, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
  • Winner, Rainforest of Reading Award
  • Short-listed, OLA Blue Spruce Award
  • , Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Editorial Reviews

Highly recommended for preschool, elementary and public libraries to increase awareness of life in different cultures and parts of the world.

— Oregon Coast Youth Book Preview Center

This look at an experience foreign to most readers in the United States hits on some easy-to-spot universals of children around the world, including the experience of learning, of disappointment, and of playing with friends.

— Matthew Winner, "10 Books for Universal Human Rights Month"

Glowing oil painting in golds and oranges spotlight the simple, uplifting story about sharing.

— Omnilibros

Fullerton notes that in Tanzania and other parts of Africa, there are still millions of people who cannot afford transportation....Some NGOs donate bicycles and open bicycle libraries where children can sign out a bicycle. In a Cloud of Dust lists organizations in North America that donate bicycles to Africa....Learning more about these organizations and doing fundraising in your classroom could be great book extensions for intermediate students. In a Cloud of Dust demonstrates kindness and the idea of paying it forward. The message in the book is terrific and can be embedded throughout the curriculum, specifically focusing on equality, citizenship and social justice. This book would be appropriate for junior and intermediate levels.

— ETFO Voice Magazine

The dusty Tanzanian countryside and the children’s joyous faces, rendered realistically in Deines’s artwork, shows how simple acts can transform a child’s life.

— Foreword Magazine

In a Cloud of Dust...teaches a powerful lesson about sharing, and can be used by parents and teachers to show children there are others in the world who are less fortunate.

— The Montreal Gazette

Alma Fullerton's text is modest in its quantity but weighty in its simple message of compassion and support...Brian Deines' illustrations are incomparable, effectively portraying the dusty and lengthy distances over Anna must travel to school...highly evocative of the landscape and mood of the remote areas of Anna's Tanzanian home...

— CanLit for LittleCanadians

[Deines'] rich oil paintings, with their solid figures and warm palette, are very much up to the task of giving readers the sense of life in Africa. The joy of the children who have received a life-changing gift leaps off the pages....Fullerton...has provided a spare text that touches neatly on all the key points of the story.

— CM Magazine

Oil paintings in rich shades of orange show the children surrounded by clouds of dust...and the simple text reads aloud smoothly, making the book a good introduction for a discussion of different yet similar lives. An author's note, appropriate for adults sharing this story with children, explains the need for bicycles in southern African countries and provides the names of organizations that work to fill that need. A nice addition to primary-grade 'values' collections.

— Kirkus Reviews

This glowing book is a wonderful introduction for young readers to life in a culture where many things are different, but some things are exactly the same.

— The National Reading Campaign

Soaked in warm golds and oranges, Deines’s oil paintings glow with a sense of promise as the children race around the schoolyard on their bikes. Fullerton says quite a bit with few words in her verselike prose, and a detailed author’s note discusses the vital role bicycles play in communities across Africa and supplies information about bicycle donation organizations.

— Publishers Weekly

Notable for its message of putting others before oneself, the story is buoyed by illustrations that shimmer with movement, light, and feeling. Shades of ochre, amber, and pale gold radiate from each two-page spread, conveying through oil paint the warmth and grittiness of this village and its children. An author’s note explains the role of and constant need for bicycles in Africa.

— Booklist

Highly recommended for classroom investigation and discussion and learning about good citizenship.

— Resource Links

Fullerton’s inviting text is spare and poetic.... Deines’ radiant oil paintings glow...

— Quill & Quire

Reader Reviews

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Top  Grade
Librarian review

In a Cloud of Dust

A Tanzanian schoolgirl struggles with a long walk to and from school that leaves her no daylight in which to do homework. When studying at lunchtime makes her miss out on the bicycle library’s visit, her compassionate classmates find a way to share the bicycles so that everyone can reach home.

This picture book, narrated in simple poetic language (most pages of verbal text are less than twenty words in length) tells the story of one determined girl who helps her friends learn how to ride the bicycles they received from a truck that pulled into their schoolyard. The book can lead to a study of Bicycle Libraries, and perhaps help young people to consider ways to support this humanitarian cause. In a Cloud of Dust is an ideal read-aloud to help students think about respect and teamwork.

A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton Author available for class visits. @AlmaFullerton

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

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