From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3-- Birthday-girl Annie goes to visit her beloved Aunt Stella; she wants to ensure that her aunt will come to her party, and she wants to hear a story. Stella tells Annie about her own girlhood, when she saved her money for a ring she desperately wanted. A heavy storm ruins her birthday party; as guests cancel, there is an unexpected visitor: a carpenter, out a day's work because of impassable roads. He needs to earn enough money to rescue his daughter from war-torn Europe where she is in hiding because she is Jewish (country and year are unspecified). Refusing charity, he builds a window seat for Stella. Before the day is over, she slips her savings into his work bag. Stella then gives Annie the ring that the carpenter's daughter gave her upon arriving safely in this country. While the story is a worthy one, it doesn't have the emotional impact of Hest's wonderful The Purple Coat (Four Winds, 1986) or The Crack of Dawn Walkers (Macmillan, 1984) . The structure will probably confuse young children, who are also likely to be unfamiliar with the references to war. The illustrations, in detail of dress and hairstyle, capture a feeling of the time, but are static and awkward. And Stella looks far too old to have been a child during World War II. --Leda Schubert, Vermont Department of Education, Montpelier
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