Boxes for Katje
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Boxes for Katje

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4.4 of 5 stars 4.40  ·  rating details  ·  414 ratings  ·  115 reviews
Simple seeds of friendship grow into something extraordinary

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...more
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 12th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadZen Ties by Jon J. MuthHorton Hears a Who! by Dr. SeussEach Kindness by Jacqueline WoodsonBoxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
Picture Books About Kindness
5th out of 56 books — 13 voters
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankHans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes DodgeBoxes for Katje by Candace FlemingKatje, the Windmill Cat by Gretchen WoelfleThe Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong
Netherlands
3rd out of 65 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

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Kathryn
What a wonderful story! I'm giving this book five stars, even though I was not a huge fan of the style of illustrations (though I appreciated all the details and the warmth portrayed in them) because the story is so important and made even more powerful and touching because it is based on a true story involving the author's mother.

After WWII, when much of Europe was devastated and her people struggling with threadbare clothing and not enough food, organizations in America such as the Children's...more
Dolly
Feb 11, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is such a sweet and heartwarming tale about relief efforts following WWII. Based on a true story, this tale follows a small town in the Netherlands and the people who lived there. They were so devastated by the war and had very little to eat, and clothes worn thin and ragged.

Due to the efforts of American charities, packages of badly needed items were delivered all over war-torn Europe and this tale focuses on the pen-pal friendship that develops between two little girls, Katje and Rosie....more
Carolynne
This book got an extra star because I used to live in the Netherlands and it rang really true for me. By the time I lived there, the war had been over for more than 20 years, and there was plenty of chocolate, wool, and soap, but people still remembered the privations of the War years and those right afterwards, when this story takes place. The people I knew were careful of whatever they had and made do with modest collections of supplies.

This book is based on the experiences of Fleming's mother...more
Laura Noto
Summary-
Boxes for Katje is a picture book for K-3rd grade readers. It features the main character, Katje, a girl that lives in the tiny Dutch town of Olst in 1945. Times are hard after the war, and the people in her town do not have a lot of clothes or food. One day Katje receives a package from America. The mailman explains that The Children’s Aid Society is helping Americans send packages full of important items to people overseas in need. She is happy to get the package and she generously sha...more
L13 Tracy Beling
California Young Reader Medal: Picture Books for Older Readers - 2006

This book was simply wonderful! I read it and then watched the DVD of the story. The movie is basically a narration of the story while the camera pans over the illustrations. I liked that I could focus on the looking at the illustrations while hearing the story. When I read the book I missed some of the details of the pictures.

This story is set after World War II when the countries of Europe were still devastated by the war. Pe...more
Lana Hoffman
"After a young Dutch girl writes to her new American friend in thanks for the care package sent after World War II, she begins to recieve increasingly larger boxes."

This is an enjoyable story with a heart warming lesson about kindness. The author is able to show Katja's character through her actions. Children can learn the goodness that comes from sharing with others by reading Katja's story. Children can also learn about charity and the satisfaction that comes from being a giving person who hel...more
Paige
"Boxes for Katje" by Candace Fleming takes place in Olst, Holland after World War II. Katje's family, like many other families in Olst, does not have much and struggles to get common household items. One day Katje receives a care package from a girl in America as part of The Children's Aid Society's effort to provide relief to families affected by the war. Katje pulls out the items in the box including soap, socks, and chocolate, each one more luxurious than the last. This is the beginning of a...more
Julia Drescher
This story is set in Holland and takes place after World War II. There is little left in the town of Olst where Katje lives. Katje is a young girl who one day receives a box from America. The box is from another girl through the Children’s Aid Society. The box contains soap, socks, and chocolate. Katje is grateful for these items and shares them with her mother and postman. There was also a letter included from Rosie, the sender. Katje sent a letter to Rosie expressing her gratitude. She explain...more
Sarah BT
Boxes for Katje is an incredibly heartwarming book. While the book is based on a true story, the author has taken artistic liberty and made the characters children instead of adults as in the real life story. It was actually Katje's father who wrote back asking for supplies, not Katje herself. Although the book may not be entirely factual, the story does maintain its uplifting message of generosity.

The artwork is colorful and the reader is transported to Holland through Dressen-McQueens illustr...more
L13_Patty
This picture book, told an inspiring story of friendship and giving. It took place in 1945 in the small town of Olst Holland. The war had just ended and many Europeans struggled to provide basic needs for their families. Meanwhile, in Mayfield Indiana a young girl was preparing a box of necessities for another child in Europe through "The Children's Aid Society." Katje was the lucky and grateful recipient. Through the spring, fall and winter Katje received boxes from Rosie of Mayfield Indiana. S...more
N_Allie l
Set in a tiny Dutch town of Holland right after World War II, Boxes for Katje is the perfect example of a historical fiction tale. Due to the ending of the war, all of the people living in the town of Olst had very little to survive on. Most of the necessities they needed were scarce.

We meet a little girl named Katje very early on in the story. AS the postman comes by on his bike, he shouts out, "I have a box for Katje- a box from America!" As soon as Katje opens the box she finds the unthinkab...more
N_Colleen
Candace Fleming’s Boxes for Katje is an inspiriting story that is great for readers aged 5-10. The illustrations seen on every page are packed with color, pattern and historical detail done in mediums such as colored pencils, oil pastels, and acrylic. Based on true events that happened in May of 1945 Katje, a girl from Holland receives a letter and a small box sent from America. After World War II Katje’s family and town is left with very little. When this box arrives with soap, socks, and choco...more
N_katiebernard
The story tells of a young girl, Katje, who lives in Holland after World War II. Upon the end of the war she receives a box from a girl in America, who donates chocolate among other things to help those in need after the war. Responding back with much thanks, Katje and her family are extremely appreciative of the gifts. Throughout the book, the girl from America continues to send more and more gifts. Her hometown sends many boxes by the end of the book, wanting to help the families in Holland. K...more
L12_danielle
Katje is a young girl living in Olst, Holland shortly after World War II. Little is left of her town and her family, like so many others, must go without everyday essentials such as milk and soap. One morning, Postman Kleinhoonte arrives at Katje's door with a mysterious box from America. The box has been sent by Rosie, a girl from Indiana. The package is part of a program called The Children's Aid Society which helps collect and send hard-to-find items to the kids in Holland. As the story progr...more
Christy
Notable Book for the English Language Arts (BELA) 2004
Notable Social Studies Trade Book (NSSTB) 2004
Based on true events, Boxes for Katje tells the story of a tiny Dutch town after World War II. Many American charities such as the Children’s Aid Society packed boxes filled with necessities for Europeans after the devastation of World War II. In the author’s note, Fleming explains that her mother sent a box of necessities to a family in Europe and learned the oldest daughter was named Katje.
Thi...more
Heidi
2003 Notable Book for a Global Society Award (IRA)
Format: Audio
Although appropriate for grades 2-6, perhaps even older, the audio recording is clearly geared for younger readers. The narrator is overly expressive and the pace is appropriate for younger readers to follow along. It includes a beep at the end of each page to indicate a page turn. Music plays in the background, adding to the more juvenile feel. The story, however, is moving in that is based on the true story of the author’s family’s...more
Karen Witzler
Sharing ,kindness, and good-will illuminate these pages while telling the story of the Children's Aid Society boxes sent from the USA to children in post WWII Europe.
Grace
Candace Fleming’s story, Boxes for Katje, exemplifies the difficulties many families had overseas after the war, particularly in Olst, Holland. When Postman Kleinhoonte brings Katje her first package from America, she is overjoyed by the contents in the box. Filled with simple necessities such as socks, soap and chocolate, Katje is eager to thank Rosie from Indiana, USA. This overseas friendship grows as the boxes come in the mail throughout the year. The boxes that arrived for Katje, filled wit...more
Jenny
Based on a true story. A young girl in Holland receives a box from a young girl in America with soap, socks, and chocolate (things most of us take for granted today here in the US), but things they did not have in Holland after WWII. Katje writes back to thank her and tell how much the box meant. More boxes come containing additional precious items.
I loved everything about this book. I loved the letters between Katje and Rosie. I loved that Katje chose to share the items she received with her n...more
Steven Strader
"... Sugar is not found in Holland these days so anything sweet is precious..."

Sharing a heart warming episode from history Fleming's story illustrates humanity at our best. Told through the correspondence between two little girls this true story is a must read for every child. With its emphasis on compassion, generosity and community, I believe it especially appropriate as part of a Christmas tradition. I also happen to know this story translates well into a very moving live drama piece.
Tricia Douglas
A wonderful book to read to children about the extreme difficulties for families in Europe after WWII. This is based on a true experience of the author's mother and shows how simple friendships can grow. Katje lives in Poland and after the WWII must go without soap, milk, clothes, and many other items. Families in American have "adopted" families like Kayje's through the Children's Aid Society and send them boxes of needed supplies. Throughout the year boxes arrived and the reader gets to feel t...more
Pat
My dear children's lit lovin' friend, Tricia, recommended this book - thank you, once again, Tricia! What a delightful, poignant story!!! It makes me remember when I taught 6th grade, I always read one picture book to my class to begin the day - yes, to my middle schoolers, and they LOVED it! How I wish I had known about this delightful story at that time! Based on a true story that occurred in May, 1945 after the war when conditions were dire in Holland, and how the kindness of Americans grew i...more
Jenny
I love historical fiction or books based on reality. It always floors my kids when, after reading a book, I tell them it was based on a real story.

This story was outstanding and I loved that Katje always wrote to say thank you. It ended up making a difference for the whole village as the Americans stepped up and did what they could for people they didn't even know. In post-WWII the people of Holland almost didn't survive due to the harsh winter and scarcity of the basics needed to sustain life....more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Based on a true incident. A young girl in Holland just after World War II receives boxes of needed items from her American penpal and classmates.
Shelli
This was such a sweet story of kindness and compassion to a stranger in need a world away. Based on actually events, a young American girl sends a small care package to another young girl in a small Dutch town of Olst, after World War II. That care package not only provided a few much needed supplies it offered hope. Many more exchanges of gratitude and assistances were shared between the girls and their neighbors, which made all the difference to this war torn devastated community. An absolutel...more
(NS) Laura Jackson
This is a wonderful story about a long distance friendship. Katje is a young girl who lives in Olst, a small town in Holland. There is very little available to Katje and her family because of World War II. They have to mend their own clothing, and survive on very little food and other resources. One day Katje receives a package from America. As she looks inside she finds soap, socks, and chocolate. These were all items that Katje hadn’t seen in a long time! Katje also found a letter written by a...more
Mary
Recommended for ages 5-10

From Booklist
K-Gr. 3. In May 1945, a Dutch girl named Katje is thrilled to receive a letter and a package of socks, soap, and chocolate from Rosie, a girl she doesn't know who lives in Mayfield, Indiana. The kids start to exchange letters, and when Rosie's family members learn of Holland's severe post-war deprivations, they enlist Mayfield residents to send food and clothes to Katje, who generously shares the gifts with others in her community. The sense of suffering isn...more
Laura
A beautiful story demonstrating the selflessness of an American family and a young lady from Holland. Katje is living in Holland during the World War II era. Like all Dutch families at this time, she is very needy with threadbare clothing and no sugar, milk, and other basic supplies. Rosie from America sends a few items (socks, soap, and chocolate) to Katje. Katje selflessly shares her chocolate with others. Katje in turn writes a letter to tell how much they appreciate the kindness since sugar...more
Jasmine
Boxes for Katje
Written by Candace Fleming
Reviewed by Jasmine Lee

Imagine in a country of Holland after World War ll there is a poor town called Olst. One day in Olst, a wonderful surprise was waiting for Katje. An American girl named Rosie sends her a box with socks, a cake of soap and a bar of CHOCOLATE. Katje shares these gifts with her mother and a mailman, but do you think this is the end of this exciting story? Of course not!!! After sharing with her mother and mailman she starts sharing all...more
Stephanie Rice
Stephanie Rice- READ 6252
Book Title: Boxes For Katje
Author: Candace Fleming

Short Description of the Book: Katje is a young girl living in post WWII Holland. Due to the war that revenged Europe, Katje and her family along with the entire town of Olst are struggling to have enough food to eat and clothes to wear. One day Katje receives a package from a young girl from America named Rosie. Rosie and Katje continue to exchange letters and every couple of months Katje receives a package from Rosie....more
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46273
I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good st...more
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