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The Treasure Box

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  382 ratings  ·  101 reviews
A moving and ultimately hopeful look at what we hold most dear -- and carry with us -- when we are forced to flee our homes because of war.

When the enemy bombs the library, everything burns, and only one book survives. As war rages around them, Peter and his father, alongside so many refugees, flee their home, taking with them a treasure box that holds something rarer than
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Candlewick Press (first published January 30th 2013)
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4.29  · 
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 ·  382 ratings  ·  101 reviews

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May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realism, picture, books
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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 (not a dude) Baugh
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Kristina Jean Lareau

Just, incredible. The artistry, the timelessness of the story, the
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the illustrations. I think they give the right tone to this book about a book saved from a war zone.
R. G. Nairam
This one requires some context to work properly, but it is beautiful.
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.
Wild's text and Blackwood's multi-media illustration combine perfectly in this devastating tale of war, loss, and memory.
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  ·  review of another edition
Powerful story with gorgeous artistry.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Libbie Huhn
The Treasure Box is a story about a father and son fleeing their city, which is in the middle of a war, and the father brings along a book which he cherishes. He describes the book as "greater than gold". This book places a huge emphasis on the importance of literature in both the father and son's life. The boy buried the box, but years later went back to find it again. He wanted it to be returned to the library in the city he fled when he was young. This book was very interesting, and helped me ...more
Cheriee Weichel
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
As a librarian and former anthropology student I really wanted to love this book, but can't give it more than 3 stars. So much happened in just a few pages. The father died and was buried within three pages. The illustrations were beautiful and haunting. And this is being nitpicky, but as a librarian the part where he just placed the old book back on the shelf pained me. Without it being recatalogued or given to staff that book is just lost unless someone happens upon it.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a war ravaged town, Peter's library is bombed by the enemy. Soon after Peter and his father flee with a treasure box containing something of great value. As they journey to safety, they slowly leave their possessions behind including the treasure box. Years go by and one day Peter returns for the precious treasure box. "The Treasure Box" is a beautiful story about the power of words and human spirit.
I have heard that people can get anything by paying money, but 1% of things cannot be obtained by it such as love, family and friends. This book tells me how important to inherit something from the past. A father wants to save a book but during the wartime, it was hard to keep it safe. So he told his son to keep it safe, and that kid buried it. However, since he moved to the overseas he forgot about it. Once he remembered that, he got back to the place and he managed to get it back.
"Only one book survived. A book that Peter's father had taken home to study. A book he loved more than any other."

So as Peter and his father flee the city, they take the book with them in a treasure box, so that it will be safe. When Peter's father dies, he continues to carry the box, even though the others encourage him to leave it behind. Finally, he buries it in a safe place, only to come back years later to retrieve.

The importance of our history and the knowledge of our culture.
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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