Back of Book:
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.
During the holidays I always try to read my students a story about children who have survived a difficult time. It is a good lesson about the power of giving. The story follows Katje a young girl who receives a box from America. What follows is a beautiful tale of friendship. I loved reading such an inspirational tale about the difference one person can make. As an elementary school teacher, I am always finding ways that I can tie in character traits into literature. This book is a perfect example of how children can show one another empathy in times of need. The illustrations are lovely and help tell the story beautifully. The end of the book has a note from the author about the true story of sending boxes to Holland. I highly recommend this book.
Ages 6 and up