Kioko lives in a village in Kenya, Africa, and has always been fascinated with the matatus (buses). In celebration of his fifth birthday, his grandfather is taking him aboard one of them for the first time. The old man, who is an elder, a teller of stories, and a father to 11 children and grandfather to 37, moves very slowly. On the matatu, Kioko wonders why the dogs chase after the vehicle barking. So his grandfather tells him a story about a goat, a sheep, and a dog. The tale arouses the little boy's sense of fairness and justice.
Eric Walters is the author of more than 70 books. He runs an organization that serves the needs of orphans in Kikima, Kenya. This story was inspired while he was on one of his trips there. Illustrator Eva Campbell was born in Ghana and is presently a visual arts teacher. Her folksy pictures convey the Kenyan culture and plant us in a faraway place.
The Matatu is designed for young readers ages five to eight. Both the folk tale and the love connection between Kioko and his grandfather are very appealing.