Boxes for Katje

Author:  Candace Fleming
Illustrator:  Stacey Dressen-McQueen

This is a true story about boxes.

It’s a story of two little girls whose kindness made miracles happen. But what made the miracles so special is that they weren’t special at all! They simply took the form of a tube of toothpaste, a pair of socks or a box of powdered milk.  For you see, after World War II much of Europe was left cold, hungry and hopeless.

Katje’s little town in Holland was no exception.   One day Postman Kleinhoonte pedaled his bicycle down Katje’s cobbled street and brought her the first  of many “miracle” boxes from Rosie, a girl in Indiana.  Once Rosie and her town received Katje’s note of thanks, the boxes being sent increased in size and content.  Soon coats, cans of meat and bags of sugar began to arrive – much to the delight of Katje and her entire town!

How could Katje’s family and town ever repay Rosie?  You’ll be filled with a sense of wonder and delight when Rosie and her family sample the “seeds” of friendship that grow from Katje’s box.

“Dear friend Rosie, I shared the sugar with our neighbors.
They have 5 children who are skin and bone.
Your gift has surely helped us.  Your friend, Katje”
“Dear Rosie, Your box caused much excitement in Olst.
People stopped worrying about the holes in their shoes and their threadbare coats.
You see? Your friendship has not only filled our stomachs,
it has lifted our spirits as well. Love, Katje”
As you read this incredible book with your children, may you be reminded that at any age it truly is “more blessed to give than to receive.”
1.  How would you explain the excitement of the townspeople when Katje receives a box from America?
2.  What might have resulted if Rosie had not sent the boxes?
3.  How was Katje able to repay Rosie for her kindness?
Mary Byrne Kline


  1. Deni Corbett says:

    Thanks for your comments Teresa. Would love to know more about how your kids raised $300 for your service project and share your success. If you feel like your journey would help others to develop a service project of their own, please email us at Thanks so much! Deni

  2. This sounds like a wonderful story! It will go along well with another story in my curriculum called “Babu’s Song”. We did a service project and the kids raised 300 dollars for “Food for the Poor”. Thank you!

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