Here is a book that might make an especially meaningful gift for children who are watching their families “tighten their belts” in this economy.
This lovely true story from the author’s childhood is a slightly-modified Jewish Holocaust children’s version of the Emily Dickinson poem:
“There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!”
As the story recounts, the author and his family, fleeing from Nazi Germany in 1939, escaped from Warsaw and made their way to Kazakhstan in the Soviet Union.
One day on a search for bread, his father came home instead with a map of the world. Angry at first, the little boy soon came to spend “enchanted hours far, far from our hunger and misery.”
The story can be understood either from the words or from the imaginative watercolor illustrations. A world of ideas is presented in this short book, which can be enjoyed by any age group, from preschoolers on up. Highly recommended!
Caldecott Honor (2009)
Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor (2009)
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008