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Boxes for Katje

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,267 ratings  ·  289 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
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 12th 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 4.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,267 ratings  ·  289 reviews

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Oct 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathryn by: Carolynne
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
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
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a wonderful book! This story is a gem. My 5 year old keeps bringing it to me to read. I know we will have to buy our own copy. Yes, I cried, but they were happy tears!
Laura Noto
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
L13 Tracy Beling
Feb 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Lana Hoffman
Nov 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
"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
Karen Witzler
Feb 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it. Every library should own it. ❤️
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii, picture-books
Heartwarming! A beautiful story based on true events about kindness. Children need to hear this!
Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Interested in the Aftermath of WWII in Europe
In this moving tale of the time just after WWII, when Europe and its people were still reeling from the after-effects of that bitter conflict, and suffering from widespread food shortages, and the lack of proper clothing and shelter, as a bitterly cold winter approached, a cross-Atlantic friendship develops between a young Dutch girl, and her village, and a young American girl, and her town. Katje, living in the small village of Olst, is surprised to receive a package out of the blue one day, an ...more
N_Allie l
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Stacey Dressen-McQueen is a special book I discovered on a difficult day a few years ago. I was feeling suicidal and decided to go sit in the children's books section at the library. I picked this book up and as I read it, tears flowed. It was the exact message I needed that day. Based on a true story, this book tells of a little girl in post war Holland, who receives a care package from a little girl in the U.S. This is just the beginning of a ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Julia Drescher
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Cathy Traccarella
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Wow! Author Candace Fleming wrote such a captivating story it made me cry twice. The story is historical fiction based on an experience the author’s mother had in 1945 when she sent care packages to a Dutch girl after the war. Reading about how Katje and others in her town in Holland were so thankful for what the Americans sent over to them during the long winter made me tear up the first time I read the book. A few days later I read the book again and got choked up when reading about how genero ...more
Sarah BT
Dec 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
A story set after World War II and focused on the pen-pal friendship of a Dutch girl named Katje and an American girl named Rosie. The pair was matched up via the Children's Aid Society and helped people living in impoverished areas like Holland survive the aftermath of the war. Rosie sends Katje and her community more and more supplies as the two exchange letters and in thanks for the many gifts Katje sends tulip bulbs to brighten Rosie's neighborhood.

This story is inspired by the author's moth
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fic
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
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
"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
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
CH - Marvin Childress
Author: Candace Fleming; Pictures: Stacey Dressen-McQueen; Grade: 1-3; (Print)
This is about a little girl named Katje from Holland, after the war when normal items and food was very limited and scarce. Katje is sent a package from an unknown pen pal from Indiana. She sends Katje socks, soap, and chocolate. The people of this Holland town are experiencing their own little depression, and the pen pal Rosie, along with other begin to send them many boxes filled with essentials and treats. The relat
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Todd Strader
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
"... 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.
Based on a true story of the author's mother, this story is a heart-warming tale of the generosity of people everywhere, and it makes you believe in the fundamental goodness of humanity. I cry every time I read this lovely picture book. An excellent addition to the Battle of the Books. I need to plant some more tulips! ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This sweet story of kindness was so beautiful! I loved the way Katje immediately sent a thank-you letter to Rosie, showing her gratitude for such a small gift. What began with a small act of sharing became a blessing for an entire town during a difficult winter.
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Based on real life events makes this a story that brings tears to my eyes when I read it. I love stories like this one because maybe someday I'll make a difference in someone's life just like Rosie did. ...more
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Around the Year i...: Boxes for Katje, by Candace Fleming 1 4 Nov 29, 2019 01:17PM  

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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

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