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The Treasure Box

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  451 ratings  ·  114 reviews
When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned.

As war rages, Peter and his father feel their home, taking with them a treasure box that holds something more precious than jewels. They journey through ud and rain and long cold nights, and soon their survival becomes more important than any possessions they carry.

But as the years go by, Peter never forgets the treasure
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 30th 2013 by Penguin|Viking
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Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  451 ratings  ·  114 reviews

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May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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"When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned."

Peter's father has a favorite book and it's the only one that survives. They are forced to leave their homes as the enemy has chased them out of the city. Peter has to keep the book safe and will do whatever it takes to do what his father asks. Peter grows from a boy to a man and never forgets the promise he made with his father.

Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: realism, books, picture
This is a good but very serious story about refugees in war time. No specific context is mentioned, but based on the clothing and appearance of the characters, probably WWII Europe.

When the enemy bombed the library, everything burned.

Peter's father has a book checked out, a book he loved more than any other, and he is determined to save it.

As a bibliophile I should love this. But while I sympathize with the father, I have issues with the heavy burden he places on his small son, making him prom
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Children's Stories About War, Loss, Survival & Hope
When the enemy bombs the library, all of the books are destroyed except for the one Peter's father has checked out. A true treasure, the book tells the story of their people, and when the father and son must flee, they take it with them. The travails of the road prove too much for Peter's father, and the young boy must bury him by the wayside, and carry on alone. Eventually the box with the book in it grows too heavy for him, and he buries it underneath a linden tree, intending to return for it ...more
Sarah Mayor Cox
This extraordinary book is about the importance of story and the power of resilience in the face of the atrocities of war.

Peter, a young boy, and his father must flee their town when the the enemy orders 'everyone out of their houses'. They take with them a treasure box which contains, 'no rubies, no silver, no gold' but instead holds a book 'about our people, about us'. Peter's father tells him that 'it is rarer than rubies, more splendid than silver, greater than gold.' And of course that is
Julie Kirchner
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful, unique illustrations accompany this heartbreaking story of a family forced to flee their home with limited possessions. Their greatest treasure is a book that they guard and protect along the way. Could be used with other refugee stories.
Alex  Baugh
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When war comes to the town where Peter and his father live, everything is bombed and destroyed, including the library. As the burnt pages of library book flutter through the air, one book survives - a library book Peter’s father loved and had been reading at home. Placing it in a iron treasure box for safe keeping, Peter and his father set off with other refugees to find a place of safety.

On the road, Peter’s father become ill and passes away. The treasure box is too heavy for Peter to carry ov
Aliza Werner
Add to a text set on the refugee experience.
Jillian Heise
Beautiful illustrations with the use of torn pages from books help tell a heart-wrenching story of escaping from war and protecting one's history. Though I was left wondering if this was one particular true story and from which war, without an author's note, we are left to see how it is a universal experience and could be placed into any time period or place where refugees are fleeing for safety. ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really like the illustrations. I think they give the right tone to this book about a book saved from a war zone.
Kristina Jean Lareau

Just, incredible. The artistry, the timelessness of the story, the
R. G. Nairam
This one requires some context to work properly, but it is beautiful.
Henessy Tolliver
This is a great book because it teaches children to value the small things in life. For example valuing who your family is verse a piece of gold. I really like how the entire illustration were made with the burnt piece of the library books.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is a sad story that will likely be traumatic or overwhelming for most children. Perhaps it would be comforting to children who have been through some kind of disaster where they have suffered the loss of important things.
Heydi Smith
Absolutely moving. Tears!!!

This is an incredible book that all should read.

Would go great with a library or book focused storytime.
Janine Darragh
A simple but powerful story. I liked how the setting was unspecified and that the focus was on a book-- and the importance of keeping history alive through literature.
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wild's text and Blackwood's multi-media illustration combine perfectly in this devastating tale of war, loss, and memory. ...more
This is one of those beautiful picture books that I will have to go and buy for myself. I borrowed it from the library, but I want a copy. Not for my grandchildren (although I will read it to them or lend it to them) but for me. It is about a young boy from a war-torn country who holds on to the great treasure that his father entrusted to him. Love this one!
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Powerful story with gorgeous artistry.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Nominated for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year, this picture book is exceptional. In a time of war, the library is burned and only one book survives. Peter’s father has that book and creates an iron box to keep it safe. When Peter and his father flee their town, they carry the book with them. Peter’s father dies on the journey and he continues to carry the book with him, even leaving behind his suitcase to manage it. Finally, Peter must leave the box behind, but he hides it safely first. Years ...more
In this beautiful picture book, Wild and Blackwood use illustrated torn paper, and pensive text to convey the sense of loss that persecuted people feel when they are forced to flee their homes, and watch their culture be destroyed. The past, and all that it stands for, is represented by the treasure that the little boy Peter is entrusted with.... a book that his father saved from getting burned. Peter manages to hide the book, and many years, returns to claim it again and share its wealth with o ...more
Cassandra Clyde
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Working with preschoolers and their families, I am frequently encouraging participation in the 1000 books before kindergarten literacy program. After years of encouraging others to participate, I decided to participate as well, despite not having a child under five years of age, and lead by example. In choosing to participate, I decided to use the challenge as a way to become more familiar with the contemporary literary cannon for families with young children, and have begun to immerse myself in ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anastasia Tuckness
Set in a historical time, this tells of a boy who must leave his home. All he brings with him is a treasure box with a book inside it. The value of the book is emphasized by his dad. Eventually he buries it and moves overseas. Much later, he returns and digs up the box and returns it to the library.

The illustrations are amazing--she made 3 dimensional scenes and cut them out so everything has so much depth. Really cool.

(Technically it's c2013, but this is the first American edition, a 2017 one.)
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been so cool. The artwork is captivating and the story has you hooked by the first page. What kept me from loving it (and giving it a better rating) is the fact that it seems like more than half the book/story is missing. While a good story does leave you with wonder and some questions that you have to answer for yourself, all this book did was leave you with questions. It felt like each page was supposed to have three more sentences on it, but they got cut to make it more " ...more
At first, I wondered if this was about the years during the Holocaust times because of so many books being destroyed, but it is an elusive story of refugees fleeing their homes, taking little. This time, a father and son leave, but the father takes only one thing in a metal box. When the father dies, the son carries on with the box, eventually having to bury it. As an adult, he returns to retrieve it, and within is a book, one that tells of the heritage he wants to be able to preserve. One can ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A story of war, the plight of refugees and loss. The illustrations are minimalist, fabulously demonstrating the destruction of war and the loss of history that can come with it. I find the images to be the most important, powerful part of this book, surpassing the text.

I did have one particular problem with this story. SPOILER - halfway through the book, on the long walk to safety, Peter's father becomes ill and dies. He makes Peter promise to be brave, Peter holds his dad's hand and in the mor
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
"People caught the words and cupped them in their hands." -Margaret Wild

During a time of war, a library is bombed; scorched scraps, the remnants of books and a people, fall to earth. Which words survive, cupped by the people?

In this children's book, a young boy is tasked with saving the one book that survived the bombing. At first, I was somewhat dissatisfied; I wanted answers. Which war? Which people? What truths could be found in the pages of that book?

Then, it occurred to me.... What if this
Amanda Brooke
This is a picture book that could open a unit about war torn nations, geography, history and literature. I would love to read this aloud to a group of older students and then ask them to use clues in the illustrations to figure out more details. Like where does the story take place. If you look closely (I used Google translate) you can find text in Hungarian. Look through history and find times where people have had to walk away from their burning homes and even walk over mountains and sail over ...more
This hauntingly beautiful picture book shares the power and strength of words and stories. In the midst of war, a library is destroyed. One of the few remaining books is protected like a treasure by the man who had borrowed it. As the man and his boy are forced to leave their home, this book goes with them. The illustrations, rendered in pencil, watercolor and collage, are softly colored and evoke the feeling of reverence for the written word. The text that forms part of the illustrations is tak ...more
Cheriee Weichel
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book reminds us that stories in our libraries, especially the ones that show us ourselves, are more important than any kind of monetary treasure.
These gorgeous illustrations and Margaret Wilde's prose tell us the story of a special kind of treasure worth more than jewels and gold. When a young boy and his father are forced to flee their homeland because of war, they take with them a book that tells them their history. As they flee they are forced to abandon their belongings. Eventually the
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Margaret Wild has written more than seventy books and has been published around the world. Her numerous awards and distinctions include the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award for Jenny Angel, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas; The Very Best of Friends, illustrated by Julie Vivas; and Fox, illustrated by Ron Brooks. In 2008 she received the Nan Chauncy Award for an outs ...more

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