Monday, December 16, 2013

Boxes for Katje - Candace Fleming

Illustrated  by Stacey Dressen-McQueen
2003, Farrar, Straus & Giroux
HC $17.99
32 cram-packed pgs.
Goodreads rating: 4.43 (320 ratings)
My rating: 5
Endpapers: Excellent!
     Front - Mayfield, Indiana; May, 1945
     Back - Mayfield, Indiana; May, 1947 (yards FULL of tulips)
Illustrations:  Full page (no white :) edge-to-edge; bright, colorful, loaded with lots to take in. 
Title page:  Two-page painting of a girl (Rosie) with a package in her arms and her dog walking down a sidewalk towards in a "U.S. Mail" box

1st line/s:  "After the war, there was little left in the tiny Dutch town of Olst.  The townspeople lived on cabbages and seed potatoes.  They patched and repatched their worn-thin clothing and they went without soap or milk, sugar or new shoes."

My comments:  I adore this story.  It's based on true happenings after World War II.  It's about people hearing of others with misfortune...and then doing something about it.  This is why I knit bears for orhans in South Africa and crochet 6 x 6 squares for afghans go to people who are colder than I am.  This story brought tears to my eyes.  I want a copy of my own!

Goodreads:  After World War II there is little left in Katje's town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom "thick and bright," Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje's street to deliver a mysterious box – a box from America! Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What's inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks – beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same.  This inspiring story, with strikingly original art, is based on the author's mother's childhood and will show young readers that they, too, can make a difference. 

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