To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
Author: Fleischman, Paul
A little girl learns about her great-grandfather's diary and of his journey from Italy to a new country.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: .5 Quiz: 157363
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: K-2
Reading Level: 1.40
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 60318
Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/13)
School Library Journal (+) (03/01/13)
Booklist (+) (04/01/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 03/01/2013 Gr 1–4—An Italian-American immigrant shares his childhood memories with his great-granddaughter. The twist of this tale is that his memories have been kept in a "diary" of saved objects that commemorate the important events of his life. As a poor child who could neither read nor write, this now-elderly gentleman found a unique way to preserve his memories by saving the objects in matchboxes. Among the many items were a box of sunflower seed shells that counted the days from Naples to New York, a fish bone to remember the long days the entire family had to work in the canneries, and a ticket stub from his first baseball game. The journey unfolds prompted by the child's curious questions. Her inquiries provoke the descriptive vignettes of an earlier time and yet frame the story through the eyes of a youngster of today. Ibatoulline's sepia-toned illustrations beautifully express this immigrant's tale from Italy to Ellis Island and the start of a new life. They also provide a wonderful contrast to the warm-colored illustrations that depict a loving, appreciative relationship between an elderly man and a young child. This lovingly crafted picture book tells an amazing story that is uniquely American. Through unsentimental, yet warm and touching dialogue, Fleischman successfully shares a powerful journey that captures the hardships, self-reliance, strength, and simple joys that characterized early immigrants. It provides an inspirational introduction to the immigration story that captures the humanity of the journey.—Carole Phillips, Greenacres Elementary School, Scarsdale, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2013 *Starred Review* Small-scale objects tell a large-scale, European-coming-to-America story in this beautiful offering from two celebrated children’s book creators. When a young girl meets her great grandfather, she asks him about his old collection of little matchboxes, and he explains that at her age he could not read and write. To remember his experiences, he kept symbolic things in matchboxes, starting with an olive pit that his mother gave him to suck on when he was hungry while growing up in Italy. Also in the boxes are reminders of his journey across the ocean in steerage, bones from the cannery where his family worked in the U.S., a tooth he lost when bullies threw rocks at him, a ticket for his first baseball game, and other things he kept to show his progress as he learned to read and rose to become a successful adult. The moving conversation is illustrated with Ibatoulline’s finely detailed acrylic-and-gouache images, which appear first in sepia tones and then with glowing red accents. Along with Fleischman’s lyrical, spare words, the body language depicted in the artwork captures the drama of the immigrant story, from heartbreaking partings and hard struggle to, finally, success. An excellent title for sharing and discussion, this will resonate with the many kids who will recognize how small, ordinary things can become treasures. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.