Hi, there! Glad you joined us here at GoodGrandma℠ this great month of July. Hope you are enjoying the warmer weather! As we celebrate Independence Day here in the United States, I always think of patriotism in its many forms. Wherever you grandmothers are, I know you feel as I do, and that is that we have much to be grateful for.

The book I have chosen for this month is called “Boxes for Katje” by Candice Flemming and illustrated by Stacey Dressen McQueen. This book has a copyright of 2003, and in 2004, it received the Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the year. I give it five stars, and it is a great book you can read to your four and older aged grandchildren.  If you are from or live in Holland, or Mayfield Indiana, I think you will love this book even more.

The story takes place in the small town of Olst in Holland after World War II. The people of Olst are living in extreme poverty, due to the many shortages caused by war. They have patches on their clothing, and are going without soap, milk, sugar, shoes, and worst of all…chocolate! All they have to eat is cabbages and potatoes. One day the postman arrives at the home of Katje with a mysterious box. It is from America and is a result of a goodwill campaign to help people in Europe, who are suffering from the war, and facing winter with many shortages. The box is from a little girl named Rosie, from Mayfield, Indiana, and inside the box, there is soap, socks, and chocolate! All of the neighbors are amazed, and Katje shares with them. Then Katje writes a thank you note to Rosie, and thus begins a “pen-pal” relationship that grows with many more and much larger boxes being delivered to Katje and her mom and neighbors. It is such a heartwarming story and has an ending that you will truly love. (You will also love Postman Kleinhoonte).

The story is based on the author’s mother’s childhood, and the values it can teach our grandchildren, are those of generosity, gratitude, taking simple things for granted, and most of all, that children can make a big difference in the lives of others. It can also help you talk with your older grandchildren about war. Hardcover on Amazon is $10.98.  I’m sure it can be found at your local library as well. Happy reading my dears, and my wish is for good blessings to fall on all our countries! ~ Book Guru Grandma Judy


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