Just after World War II, a little boy, David, is eagerly awaiting emigration to the United States with his family, and to make the time pass easier, another child who has already left for America gives David an old rocking horse.
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Grade 1-3?A powerful historical piece as well as a poignant commentary on the plight of immigrants. After years of hiding because they are Jewish, David and his family plan to leave Germany for America after World War II. While they await space on a ship, David learns English via slips of paper that cover the wall by his bed, but the long wait makes even this activity seem hopeless. Then a rocking horse appears with a note stating, "When I leave on my liberty ship, I promise to give this rocking horse to someone who is still waiting to go to America." David pretends to ride to New York many times before the real journey begins. Pomeranc keeps the focus on a child's issues: anticipation, family separations, cramped living quarters, confusion, and the little bits of human kindness that keep hope alive. Muted, realistic watercolor illustrations strongly support the text by capturing both the family warmth and the historic time period, and avoid ethnic stereotyping and nostalgic kitsch. Margaret Wild's Let the Celebrations Begin (Watts, 1991) and Christophe Gallaz's Rose Blanche (Creative Ed., 1986) are very intense picture books about the Holocaust. The Hand-Me-Down Horse is a gentle book, and a valuable addition to collections serving young children.?Jody McCoy, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas, TX
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In her first children's book, Pomeranc carefully tailors to her young audience a post-Holocaust tale that ends happily for a Jewish boy and his family. Launching the story after the war has ended, the author avoids the horrifying details of the Holocaust, instead noting more generally that after the Solomons left their home in Germany they had "fled from village to village, living in forests and on farms, always seeking safety, food and shelter but finding danger and destruction instead." Now they are living in a one-room apartment in an unnamed location, waiting for their chance to board a "Liberty ship" that will take them to New York. A wooden rocking horse left behind by an American-bound child helps David pass the time and gives him hope that his turn to begin a new life will eventually arrive. Yardley's (The Bracelet) spare, pastel-hued watercolor and pen-and-ink art favors sunny depictions of David and his surroundings, reinforcing the reassuring, upbeat messages of the narrative. Ages 7-10.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Albert Whitman & Co, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Joanna Yardley (illustrator). book. Bookseller Inventory # M0807531413
Book Description Albert Whitman & Company, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0807531413