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Christina Katerina & the Box
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Christina Katerina & the Box

4.6  ·  Rating Details ·  339 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
The day the refrigerator arrives in its large brown carton, Christina Katerina and her mother are both excited, but for very different reasons. Christina quickly claims the box, where she creates a castle, a clubhouse, and other fantastic playthings with her sometimes-friend Fats Watson.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 13th 1998 by Putnam and Grossett (first published 1971)
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(showing 1-30)
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Celeste Noelani McLean
This was my all time, number one, absolute favorite book when I was a child. It's one of those things that has survived my many moves, and not on accident.

The illustrations are simple but absolutely beautiful and perfectly fitting with the theme of imagination. They're almost deceptively simple and I adored looking at them, trying to figure out how to imitate whatever was depicted.

Christina Katerina's imaginative play always inspired me to create my own fantastical tea party or castle or race t
Oct 29, 2008 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: picturebooks
I loved this book when I was little and finally found it and read it here in Milwaukee at the public library. I am sure I hadn't read it in about 25 years. Christina Katerina's creative nature is inspiring, and from from 1971 no less! Here is a Caddie Woodlawn or Anne Shirley or Pippi Longstocking for the picture book set. (Or for me.) The personable, affecting illustrations bring the characters to life (of course Christina's friend's name is luckily named "Fats"), and Christina's lackadaisical ...more
Jan 13, 2010 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Ohmygosh! I LOVED this book as a kid. It is so full of imagination and I, like Christina Katerina, really, REALLY loved to get an old box and make magic happen.
Jul 26, 2014 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
I saved my childhood copy of this book so my own children could enjoy it. This book is so simple; the illustrations aren't even in color. But the incredible world of imagination that it inspired was like no other book for me as a kid. Christina's endless ideas of how to use large appliance boxes for her creative play were awe inspiring. I remember feeling disappointed that my parents never had to purchase new appliances so I could have a chance to imitate her fantastic ideas. The book subtly emp ...more
Feb 10, 2014 Terri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
You know how it is, buy a terrific toy for a child and they play with the box.

Christina Katerina has a box but it is not just any box, this box becomes all kinds of wonderful things for her, a house, a car, a boat. Christina Katerina is a sweet, daring and scruffy little girl who makes her adventures seem real. This one box provides countless hours of adventure.

The illustrations are so endearing and capture Christina Katerina's personality so well that you forget the pictures in the book are col
Jul 11, 2007 Dacia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All Parent and Children
Shelves: youngchildrens
This was my all time absolute favorite book as a young girl. I was worried that since my son was a boy he wouldn't be as interested. After all, they say that girls easily relate to boy heros, but the other way around rarely works. Nevertheless, I kept my copy of the book, and it's been on his bookshelf. He's three now, and on a whim I pulled it out to read as the bedtime story a couple of weeks ago after I'd despaired of reading "Look and Find with Thomas the Train" for the thousanth time. Much ...more
Feb 23, 2013 Lori rated it it was amazing
This was my absolute favorite book when I was little. I had forgotten the particulars, like who the author was and what the title of the book was, and I described it to my best friend.

She researched the book and bought it for me, without my knowledge. I haven't read it in 25-30 years and when she handed it to me it was as if THIS is what a mother should do for her child (BFF is my mother mentor). I cried when I read it again. I shall read it again and again. Always.
Apr 30, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This book was very influential on my childhood. It made me so excited for boxes. Really the possibilities are endless.
Jul 07, 2013 Christine rated it liked it
Fun picture book about a girl's creative play with a cardboard box, but I don't like that her friend's name is Fats.
Gayle Swift
Oct 01, 2015 Gayle Swift rated it it was amazing
Nobody likes to be boxed in. But in Christina Katerina & The Box by Patricia Lee Gauch, a box becomes an invitation to rocket into the stratosphere of a child’s imagination. Although originally published in 1971, the story is fresh and timely. Christina Katerina, the heroine of the story is no shrinking violet awaiting a Prince Charming to save her. She’s a spunky and imaginative character who turns a lonely summer day into the beginning of a marvelous adventure.

Christina Katerina salvages a
Apr 30, 2016 Jen rated it it was amazing
I do so love this book. My mum bought it for me when I was a kid because I loved all sorts of boxes; we got a stand-alone freezer at one point and I had that box for two weeks before I had to spend a weekend away and Mom accidentally left it out in the rain. So I totally identify with the magic of a giant box and all that it can be. I love Gauch's creativity with each new version of the box and the ways the mother character keeps getting overrun by Christina's newest iteration.

I'm not quite sure
Jun 05, 2009 Leslie rated it it was amazing
The info up top reads that this is from '98 but I had a much loved copy as a child that was used when I found it in the 70's. This was one of the staple reads of my early childhood that I never outgrew. I'm so delighted to have rediscovered it and just ordered a copy for my son at Barnes and I can hardly wait for it to arrive. The illustrations were the kind you dream over and never forget. I'm 39 and still remember the pictures, especially the chubby neighbor kid, named "Fats", eati ...more
Erik Akre
Feb 19, 2016 Erik Akre rated it liked it
Recommends it for: young children and their readers
Shelves: young-children
This is one of those children's books that celebrates the boundless creativity of childhood. We can see our heroine Christina in any of the child's--and possibly our own--genuinely creative endeavors. For a child, this is just a fun story with absolutely brilliant illustrations, with characters that are recognizable and endearing. In this way, it well-enough fulfills its purpose. From a practical and creative-inspirational standpoint, it also provides a wealth of possibilities for the uses of an ...more
Amanda Nuchols
Jan 02, 2011 Amanda Nuchols rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with children
Recommended to Amanda by: My mother
This book was one of my absolute favorite books when I was a little girl in elementary school. The story is about a little girl whose family gets a new refrigerator and the box is given to Christina Katerina to play with. The creative progression of everything the box is used for in imaginative play is impressive and so much fun until the eventual demise of the box into the dust it came from. More children should read this book and hopefully be inspired, like I was, to come up with amazingly fun ...more
Oct 30, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Christina Katerina is the original craftster. She sees endless possibilities in a large box. I loved this book as a child, and the illustrations have a charming 60's flavor to them. The mom is very trim and tidy, and Christina Katerina is a fly-away hippie child. This book perfectly captures Christina's love of hoarding junk and creating her own world from it. Not to mention her "sometimes friend" who alternates between joining in the make-believe and spoiling it. This book is on my list of book ...more
Apr 28, 2010 Kristin rated it it was amazing
Christina Katerina has a big cardboard box to play with. She and her friend, Fats, use their imaginations to come up with all sorts of ways to play with it.

Potential Audience: Grades 1-4

Genre: Picture book, fiction

Curricular Use: Read-aloud, independent reading

Literary Elements: Dialogue, repetition

Social Issues: Imagination, make-believe, childhood, play, friendship (ups and downs)

Image: Black, white, and (cardboard) brown illustrations that support the text well and make this book even bette
Michelle Alley
Aug 18, 2009 Michelle Alley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Christina has just received a large box left over from a refridgertor that was just delivered to their house. Her imagination begins to spin and soon she is riding in race cars and living it up in castles right on her front lawn.

My husband remembers this as one of his favorite books as a child. We added this to our children's library and find that it's one of our favorite books to read. It's fun, not too long, and always seems to give my children lots of ideas for imaginary play and building.
Jan 02, 2015 Joolissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! For as long as cardboard boxes exist this will be a timeless tale of childhood. What child doesn't love the magical thing that is a giant box? Or for that matter, who doesn't love them, no matter their age! The story is a wonderful cameo of life and follows the many imaginative reincarnation of a fridge box and the little girl who gives it life. It's wonderfully fun and full of great ideas that any kid will be excited to try with their own box.
Jul 26, 2012 Ellen rated it really liked it
A girl whose imagination lets her turn an old refrigerator box into a castle, a clubhouse, a race car, and finally a ballroom dance floor before she finally allows her mother to haul it off. The illustrations fit the story and are very well-done. Published in 1971, before it was politically incorrect to call the antagonist "Fats," which is what her friend who plays with her is called. He is the one who hastens the demise of the box.
This is a charming story of an inquisitive little girl and what she does with a refrigerator box. Her mother wants to trash it but Christina wants to take it on an adventure. The little girl's imagination is wonderful.

The illustrations depict realistic encounters. The mother worrying, the neighbor boy misbehaving, and Christina having so much fun. I can't think of anyone who will read this story that won't have a smile on their face by the time it ends. I know we did.
Ellen Ramsey
Sep 26, 2010 Ellen Ramsey rated it it was amazing
This book features the conflict between Christina Katerina and Fats Watson about how to play in the places created from the box (a castle, a clubhouse, a car). Their conflict intensifies until they find themselves the proud possessors of two boxes! Imaginative fun as the box is transformed into various play spaces.
When the delivery truck bring the large box containing the shiny new refrigerator Christina and her mother are both excited, just for very different reasons. The potential that lies in a box is something that all children see and love to explore. Sometimes more than the gift that came in the box. The simple 70's style illustrations make this a unique and just cool read.
This book is so much fun! Christina is a very imaginative girl and loves to play with her best friend. Her mother however would like to have her yard back! The illustrations are well done and capture the characters perfectly. I would use this story in class to teach about creativity and how something can have multiple uses.
Feb 27, 2015 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This was my all-time, favorite, read-it-to-me-again-and-again book when I was little. I too liked playing in big cardboard boxes, and I wished I'd had Christina Katerina to play in them with me. As long as Fats didn't keep messing things up. lol
Funny, I had always thought her name was Christina Katrina.
Vicki Jaeger
Sep 12, 2009 Vicki Jaeger rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids of all ages
One of my favorite kid's books of all times! (Entering it here so I remember it for baby shower gifts in the future.) It's a great way to jump-start a kid's imagination, showing all the fun things you can do with a box.
Jessyca Garcia
Oct 07, 2014 Jessyca Garcia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember reading this book as a kid. I actually used it to design my own cardboard clubhouse. For years I could not remember the title. I am so happy to have found the book on this site. Now I have my own child who loves boxes. I can not wait to share this book with her.
Jun 16, 2013 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I believe this was one of the very first books I read - and I loved so so much! This is a children's book and maybe 20 pages (if I remember) but I used to read and re-read this book over and over and over again. I hope to get a copy when I have a child.
May 02, 2016 Tracy rated it really liked it
Who didn't get to play in a ginormous box as a kid? If you didn't, this book will help you see what you were missing out on! I loved the story, and I loved the illustrations of the characters. Fun read.
Jun 17, 2012 Gord rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. It was a hand me down from my sister , it was definitely more in my wheelhouse. The fun I use to have with boxes. I still have my original copy that's signed by my sister back in early 70s. Simple story and so imaginative at the same time.
Aug 16, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone!
I love this book. Christina Katerina's imagination and creativity is inspiring--first the box is a clubhouse, then a castle, then a race car, then a ballroom dance floor (and maybe a few things in between). See also Andrew Henry's Meadow, which was written by the illustrator of CKATHB.
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