Wild, Margaret. Treasure Box, The. Freya Blackwood, Illus. Picture Book. Candlewick, 04/2017. 40pp. $16.99. 978-0-7636-9084-7. OUTSTANDING. GRADES 2-4.
In an unknown historical time (perhaps during WW II), war forces a people to flee their homes; young refugee Peter carries a cherished family possession throughout an incredibly sad, grim, and dangerous period of survival before reflecting on its great importance when he has reached adulthood. In our era of increasing numbers of refugees, it is vital to have stories for young readers about what havoc war and (other disasters) can cause for populations. In this beautifully written and illustrated book—cut-paper collages with watercolor and pencil, some of which include parts of pages of books that float in the sky— Wild and Blackwood take the reader into the very heart of the tragic state of losing one’s country and livelihood, only to recover it through memory of buried treasure, in this case a precious book belonging to a family. It also highlights how important libraries are in preserving books and the memories that accompany them at so many different levels. This is the first U.S. edition; previously published in Australian 2013 and, in translation, in other countries.
Alan Bern, Berkeley Public Library