AN Ellis Island Christmas

Overview

Papa has already left Poland, and Krysia longs to see him again. "First we must cross the ocean to get to Ellis Island in America," says Mama. "That's where Papa is waiting for us." Saying goodbye to her home is hard, and the ocean voyage is long and stormy, but finally, on Christmas Eve, Krysia sees the Statue of Liberty! Dennis Nolan's richly rendered illustrations powerfully evoke the uncertainty, wonder, and hope of this young immigrant's experience. An Ellis Island ...

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Overview

Papa has already left Poland, and Krysia longs to see him again. "First we must cross the ocean to get to Ellis Island in America," says Mama. "That's where Papa is waiting for us." Saying goodbye to her home is hard, and the ocean voyage is long and stormy, but finally, on Christmas Eve, Krysia sees the Statue of Liberty! Dennis Nolan's richly rendered illustrations powerfully evoke the uncertainty, wonder, and hope of this young immigrant's experience. An Ellis Island Christmas is a holiday story to treasure, year after year.

Having left Poland and braved ocean storms to join her father in America, Krysia arrives at Ellis Island on Christmas Eve.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142405062
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 478,339
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 25, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A treasured keepsake

    I discovered An Ellis Island Christmas while trying to research my own family's journey from Poland in 1917. Growing up, I remember my babcia (grandmother) storing her sewing supplies in a small wicker hamper with a cloth lining. This was the same container that brought my grandmother and great-grandmother's possessions from Zamosc, Poland. When I flipped through An Ellis Island Christmas and saw that beautiful watercolor of a Polish willow hamper that matched my own heirloom, it was an emotional moment. <BR/><BR/>The picture book tells the story of Krysia, a six-year-old Polish girl whose father has already left for America (as was frequently the case). Now, Krysia and her mother and brothers are boarding a steamship that will take them to Ellis Island. Their journey is a tiring one, first having to walk on foot to reach their point of departure, then facing seasickness and storms at sea before arriving at their destination. Because this is a book aimed at ages 5 and up, there are brief hints of immigrants deported for illnesses and the threat of WWI, but the story does not dwell or linger on these darker moments, instead focusing on Krysia's wonder at the journey, her friend and shipmate Zanya, and her dolls. <BR/><BR/>Christmas Eve at Ellis Island is a wondrous experience for Krysia, who discovers that Father Christmas has made the journey all the way from Poland. She also discovers bananas and electric lights for the first time. <BR/><BR/>The beautiful watercolor / colored pencil graphics truly bring Krysia's experience to vibrant life; the haunting image of the Statue of Liberty must have been exactly as my grandmother saw it when she was a little girl. The sepia-toned illustrations of a rustic Polish cottage and the imposing Ellis Island hallways are softened by the melancholy Krysia, until she smiles at last when being reunited with her papa. <BR/><BR/>This is a beautiful book to introduce younger readers to the Ellis Island immigrant experience, and it's even more meaningful for those of us who had a grandparent who immigrated in recent memory . I was lucky enough to finally track down the original ship manifests and Ellis Island documents for my Polish grandparents (who immigrated at roughly the same time as Krysia), and my personal experiences as a second-generation Polish-American made An Ellis Island Christmas even more meaningful.

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