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The Secret Box (Lehman, Barbara) Hardcover – March 21, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

From Booklist

Lehman adds to her collection of surreal picture-book adventures, which began with the Caldecott Honor Book The Red Book (2004), in this wordless, time-travel fantasy. In an opening scene, a young boy dressed in knickers hides a box under the wooden floorboards in his school dormitory. In subsequent spreads, the scenes pan out to set the time and place: a small farming community filled with steam-engine trains and horse-drawn wagons. Gradually, new buildings fill the landscape, and horses give way to cars. At the center of each view is the school, and in a modern-day interior image, a group of kids discovers the long-ago student's box, which includes a treasure map. Following the route and obscure clues, the young people find their way through a tunnel to a magical boardwalk, where multicultural kids from multiple generations (indicated by their old-fashioned clothing) have fun. Children may be puzzled by the obscure, open ending, but as usual, Lehman's clean-lined, highly detailed artwork creates an ingenious visual puzzle that invites repeated viewings and flights of imagination. Preschool-Grade 2. --Gillian Engberg
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Lehman, Barbara
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 2/19/11 edition (March 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547238681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547238685
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I do not agree with the reviewers that stated the story is creepy...we did not find it to be. I thought it was a wonderful story about connection with the past, common dreams of children having a fun, safe, and exciting adventure, and a little mystery found kind of experience. I loved the illustrations, their detail, and coloring. The idea that children are children no matter what year it is...the theme of children through the ages all want the same thing...dreams come true of fun and hope and something better than we can ourselves imagine. How in the world is that creepy? Without any words, it is due to your interpretation to embrace the charm of this sweet book. I want to donate a copy of it to our school library, for I feel this book is a gem.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Lehman's books.
The beautiful images and narrative presentation is lovely.
We loved the Rainstorm.

However, her stories have a slightly dark feel to them (only slightly, and maybe just my interpretation).
This one seems to focus on children living in a group home of some kind escaping to a wonderland of the pier fair.
That said, our child has enjoyed the book and will likely find a place for it on her reading list off and on for many years.
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Format: Hardcover
Three children at a school find a box, a time capsule in time, left by a student from long ago. Looking through its contents, matching photos and maps, they discover an underground path to a seaside carnival: Seahorse Pier. Children ages 3-6 will have fun following this wordless adventure through time and space, connecting past and present.
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Format: Hardcover
----------------------------------------------------
"The Secret Box"
Written & illustrated by Barbara Lehman
(Houghton Mifflin, 2011)
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Another entry in Lehman's sizable catalog of wordless picturebooks... This one is strongly reminiscent of David Wiesner's "Flotsam," telling the tale of several generations of children (growing up in the same orphanage?) who find a mysterious old box packed with pictures and memorabilia from a fantastical, lost-in-time beachside amusement park. It's a fun story, though in my overprotectivoid glory, I feel obliged to point out that the magical passageway that the kids run through to get to Seahorse Pier looks an awful lot like a water culvert, and as a kid I was always told to never go in those, since people often drown inside them. Otherwise, great book! (Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain children's book reviews)
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