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Boxes for Katje
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Boxes for Katje

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  844 Ratings  ·  182 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 (BYR)
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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.
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
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved it. Every library should own it. ❤ ...more
This beautiful book that made an especially good read-aloud with plenty of opportunities for discussions on history, gratitude, and America, to name a few. I love it!
Nov 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In Candace Fleming's Boxes for Katje, we are sent to post-World War II Olst, Holland. The war has wreaked havoc on many of the families in Holland, including Katje's. They have little access to everyday comforts like sugar, clothing, and soap. One day, Katje receives a package from the postman. In the package is a bar of soap, wool socks, a bar of chocolate, and a letter from an American girl named Rosie. Katje responds to Rosie, telling her that the chocolate brought them so much joy as they ha ...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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I cried!! Kaelyn looked at me strange.
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.
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Katje town Olst in Holland is facing severe winter after World War II . There is scarcity of food and clothing and everybody is getting by struggling to keep warm and scrimping for food. Postman Kleinhoonte pedals down on his bicycle with a special delivery for Katje from the land of plenty America . She is one of the few lucky ones chosen to get the package. It is from Rosie a girl from Indiana. Everybody is excited and kind Katje shares her package with everyone and sends a letter to Katie tha ...more
Kadijah Harewood
This story is based on the author's mothers experience after WWII when she began a pen pal with a young girl in Europe at the suggestion of aid services to relieve some of the pressures European countries felt with the country in ruins. Resourcing is discussed in this story through a lack of basic essentials such as soap, socks and food. But even in this time of crisis, this groups of people still continued to share their sense of community. When packages were received Katje shared with everyone ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining story, showing the generosity of people, and the relief of people who find themselves in a bad situation, only to be helped by strangers. Even though I have studied a lot of history dealing with World War II, I had failed to realize that the destruction and abject poverty that war leaves behind was not just in Germany, but many other countries as well.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
#WWII #Holland #Tulips #YoungReaders #PictureBook #BookReview #ChildrensBooks #amreading #Sharing #Generosity When Rosie, living in America, hears about the struggles of Katje, living in Holland, what can she do to help?
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A great kids' book based on a true story of generosity after the war.
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had no idea that these boxes were being sent to Europe from America, so it was so neat to read this book and learn of this happening. The charities of the time were helping Europeans get these necessary supplies because of their poverty and damaged economy. I thought it was lovely how grateful the people were for the boxes and how Katje was so anxious to send something back to America in return. The illustrations are fun and whimsical, and really showed how happy the boxes must have made every ...more
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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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