The Treasure Box

The Treasure Box

Book - 2017 | First U.S. edition.
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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 rubies and more precious than gold. They journey through mud and rain and long cold nights, and soon survival becomes more important than any possession. But as the years go by, Peter never forgets the treasure box, and one day he returns to find it. This moving story from celebrated author Margaret Wild is illustrated with Freya Blackwood's subtly affecting artwork, which incorporates pages of children's books in translation. The result is a haunting and beautiful tale of the power of stories and the resilience of the human spirit.
Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press, 2017.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780763690847
0763690848
Branch Call Number: E WIL
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) :,colour illustrations
Additional Contributors: Blackwood, Freya

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forbesrachel Jul 08, 2017

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 others. Like his father before him, Peter sees the book as a vessel of his heritage. For a story like this, the written word has to be of outstanding quality, and fortunately it is. The text is always appropriately respectful, and truthful, but never so dark as to take the focus away from the intended focus; this is not about the horrors of war, it is about reclaiming and passing on one's cultural identity. The illustrations also convey the same tone; the colours are grounded, and the torn paper (which sometimes includes written text) visually reminds us of the theme. Neither the war, or the culture are ever specified within the context of this story (although it is implied by other aspects), this makes the book more universal, and can easily be used to talk about displaced peoples from any place, or referred to those who have experienced it themselves. The Treasure Box's message is ultimately one of hope.

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