Friday, April 11, 2008

War Is Not Healthy For Children........

"War is not healthy for children and other living things."......(quote taken from my son's Volcom T-shirt!)

War can leave a country and its people in total devastation and poverty. Everyone and everything suffers. Boxes For Katje is a beautiful, uplifting picture book based on a true story which is set in Holland after World War II. The war has left the people of the town of Olst hungry and cold. They go without soap, milk, sugar and socks (all things which we take for granted). Katje's American pen pal, Rosie sends a goodwill package to help her and her family through the hard times. A relationship blooms between the two girls as they write letters back and forth and Rosie's efforts to help Katje and the poor people of Olst are answered when the whole community of Mayfield, Indiana becomes involved in Giving. Katje and her village receive boxes and boxes of sugar, chocolate, soap, warm coats, socks, powdered milk and canned goods to help them survive one of the worst winters in Europe. This story reminds us that it takes one person to bring about BIG changes.

Candace Fleming is the author of several children's books but this one probably has won the most awards. I counted over 20 on her website! She wrote this story based on her mother's experiences in 1945, when under the direction of a Children's Aid charity, she sent a box to her pen pal Katje. Then later, when the conditions in Holland improved, Katje and her family sent a box of tulip bulbs back to her American friends. I bet those tulips are still blooming all over Mayfield!

Stacey Dressen-Mcqueen is the artist from Portland, Oregon. This is her first book and her work is magnificent, done with a mixture of oil pastel, acrylic and colored pencil. She definitely researched the fabrics and styles of the period.


  1. Hi, found your blog when searching for "war is not healthy...," which volcom illegaly used for their commercial purposes and has since agreed to cease production of that shirt, but the real art piece was made by my grandmother-

  2. Jacob- Sorry for the delayed response, we've been away on a bit of a Summer holiday. And thank you for sending us the link to Another Mother for Peace an the picture of your grandmother's art. I'm definitely going to get a shirt! Here's the link everyone...

  3. Hi Jacob, Thank you so much for the correction! Your grandmother is an amazing woman. I love the site and am waiting on to get some baby/ toddler shirt sizes back in stock so my kids can wear the real deal and for a great cause too!
    (By the way we got rid of the Volcom shirt right away). It's unfortunate when big companies exploit artists think they can get away with it.


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