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Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story Hardcover – September 1, 1997
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From School Library Journal
Grade 1-4. Full-page watercolor paintings decorate this warm, sentimental story loosely based on actual events. Rylant traces the origins of an Appalachian "Christmas Train" that travels through the mountains each year on December 23 to a rich man who wished to repay a debt of kindness he had received many years before. He faithfully returns and tosses silver packages from the caboose to the coal-town children who wait by the tracks. One such child is Frankie, who longs for a doctor's kit every year; instead he gets much-needed socks or mittens along with small toys. As an adult, he moves back to the town to live and work, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a doctor. With her clear, balanced, and well-paced storyteller's voice, the author builds the anticipation and excitement that the children?and especially Frankie?feel at the train's annual arrival. Although the heroic profile of this child-turned-man makes him more of a symbol than a real person, his story is capably told. The illustrations provide panoramic views of the Appalachian countryside, with deep nighttime blues and wintry colors, strengthening the sense of place. A well-rendered reflection on the importance of giving and sharing.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Rylant's story is enhanced by the paintings of Chris K. Soentpiet, whose renderings of frosty Appalachian days and a young boy's memories are vibrant. Together, Ryland and Soentpiet have created a story for children and parents too. (Ages 4 to 8) -- The New York Times Book Review, Rosemary L. BrayRosemary L. Bray
Top customer reviews
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Based on the train that delivers packages each November, this tells the story of a boy whose holiday magic depends on the gifts thrown from the train. Year after year, he never receives the Christmas present he dreams of. His disappoint results in a strong message that makes this book so memorable.
The book imagines a back story to the train of a generous rich gentleman trying to pay back a town's kindness, and this same mood permeates the story. Perhaps not historically accurate, but certainly appreciated and appealing to the imagination.
The illustrations are vivid and details and full of expression.
This is one that is hard to read with a dry eye.
Now I will have this treasure. Great book I recommend if you haven't read this yet it is worth reading.