Casey over There

Casey over There

by Staton Rabin, Greg Shed

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Steeped in nostalgia, this affecting story of a boy's love for his brother illuminates both an era and a serious subject: war. Seven-year-old Aubrey's brother, Casey, has gone overseas to fight in the Great War. Aubrey misses his brother and the two exchange letters, but after a while Casey's letters stop coming. Concerned, Aubrey decides to go right to the top, and writes to Uncle Sam. His poignant query--``Are you done with him yet?''--garners a surprising reply, not from Uncle Sam, but from President Woodrow Wilson himself. By juxtaposing scenes of everyday life in Brooklyn (Aubrey flattening pennies under a trolley's wheels, playing kick the can, visiting Coney Island) with scenes of Casey's ordeal (shaving in a muddy foxhole, crawling across no-man's-land into enemy fire), Rabin quietly allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the hardships of war. Her gentle, straightforward prose is superbly matched by debut illustrator Shed's luminous, impressionistic gouaches. Bathed in a golden glow, his scenes intensify the tale's atmospheric setting and underscore the warmth exuded by Aubrey's close-knit family. An excellent picture-book introduction to the topic of war and its effect on families. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-When Casey is sent ``over there'' to fight in the Great War, his seven-year-old brother misses him a lot. Everything Aubrey does-playing kick the can, flattening pennies under the trolley-reminds him of his brother in France. Even when the family goes to Coney Island to try and distract themselves, the child thinks about Casey. And although he is thrilled when President Wilson answers the letter he wrote to ``Uncle Sam,'' he is still worried. Finally, the young soldier does come home safely, although he is thin and limping. Despite a text that is at times too spare, Shed's beautiful illustrations-gouache-on-canvas paintings- are lush and evocative, adding depth and substance to the story. A heartfelt book, greatly enhanced by its art, which offers young readers a lovely glimpse of the past.-Cyrisse Jaffee, formerly at Newton Public Schools, MA
Hazel Rochman
It's rare to find a picture book about what it was like to be a child in the U.S. during World War I. At seven Aubrey is too young to join the army, but his brother, Casey, goes to fight "over there." Scenes of Brooklyn in 1917 are juxtaposed with pictures of the trenches in France as Aubrey writes to his brother and sends him packages and thinks about him all the time. When Aubrey is playing kick the can, Casey is sitting in the mud of the trenches. When Aubrey is flattening pennies under the wheels of a trolley-car, his brother is crawling on his belly on patrol in no-man's land. Letters are everything; so is waiting for them. No letter comes from Casey for three months, so Aubrey writes to "The Honorable Uncle Sam." When the mailman rings the bell, Aubrey's mother nearly faints--a telegram could mean that Casey has been killed in the war--but it's a long letter from President Wilson. The presidential reply seems a bit far-fetched, despite the author's explanatory afterword about Wilson's respect for children. The story lies in the family warmth and longing. Casey does come back after the war, and the brothers' reunion is between tears and teasing. The heartfelt emotion is movingly expressed in the spare, direct words and in the full-page framed gouache paintings in sepia shades that evoke a sense of the period, at home and at the front

Product Details

Harcourt Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.82(w) x 11.27(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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