Jackie's Gift: A True Story of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Jackie Robinson

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Young Steve Satlow is thrilled when his hero Jackie Robinson moves onto his block. After the famed second baseman invites Steve to a Dodgers game, the two become friends. So when Jackie hears that the Satlows don't have a Christmas tree, he decides to give them one, not realizing the Satlows are Jewish. But Jackie's gift helps these two different families discover how much they have in common.

Written by the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and illustrated by a ...

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Overview

Young Steve Satlow is thrilled when his hero Jackie Robinson moves onto his block. After the famed second baseman invites Steve to a Dodgers game, the two become friends. So when Jackie hears that the Satlows don't have a Christmas tree, he decides to give them one, not realizing the Satlows are Jewish. But Jackie's gift helps these two different families discover how much they have in common.

Written by the daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson and illustrated by a Caldecott Honor winner, Jackie's Gift is a holiday tale-based on a true story-about friendship and breaking barriers.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robinson, Jackie Robinson's daughter, adds to her oeuvre with this Christmas anecdote, based on family history, about cultural differences and common ground. Young Steve Satlow's Jewish family welcomed the Robinsons to their Brooklyn neighborhood, while others protested their arrival. Befriending his baseball hero, Steve mentions that his family doesn't have a Christmas tree and, not realizing that the Satlows don't celebrate Christmas, Jackie brings them one. It's a wonderfully human moment, the awkwardness of which is eased by laughter and the spirit in which the gift was given. A tender and nuanced holiday story, all the more moving because it's true. Ages 3–up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
The sister of Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player to break through the color barrier, tells an inspiring story from her family history. The Robinsons are the first black family to move into their Brooklyn neighborhood. There was some opposition, but the family of young Steve Satlow has been supportive. Steve, a big fan of the Dodgers and his idol, Robinson, is at the Robinson house as they decorate their Christmas tree. Steve mentions that his family doesn't have one. When Robinson brings a tree to the Satlows, the situation is awkward, since the Satlows, who are Jewish, do not celebrate Christmas. But they decide to accept the gift in the spirit of its giving. After some discussion and explanation, the Satlows have both their Hanukkah menorah and the Christmas tree. Lewis's single and double-page watercolor scenes depict both the neighborhood and the families naturalistically, clearly conveying the mixed emotions. The one illustration of the arrival from Russia to America of Steve's grandparents is in tones of sepia. There is even a panoramic view of the old Ebbets Field. Robinson adds a note on the factual background. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Jackie Robinson's daughter tells a story that takes place during the family's first Christmas in Brooklyn. Not everyone was happy to see a black family move in to the neighborhood. Young Steve Satlow, an avid Dodger fan, and his parents are exceptions; they welcome the Robinsons and become friends. On Christmas Eve, Steve is helping the Robinsons decorate their tree when Jackie learns that the Satlows don't have one. He shows up at their home with a tree for Steve, and his wife comes later with extra ornaments. They then learn that the Satlows are Jewish. What could have been an awkward moment becomes a lesson in tolerance and friendship. Lewis's lovely paintings do a fine job of conveying the time and place in this heartwarming story.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Kirkus Reviews

Young Steve Satlow is a big baseball fan living in Brooklyn in the late 1940s, and he can scarcely believe his good fortune when Jackie Robinson and his family move in nearby. Steve is delighted to help the Robinson family decorate their Christmas tree, and when he says that his family has no tree of their own, Jackie delivers a tree to their house, not realizing that the family is Jewish. After some awkward moments as the two families get to know each other better, Mr. and Mrs. Satlow decide that for that one year, their family will have both a menorah and a Christmas tree. The true story, retold by Jackie Robinson's daughter, presents some valuable lessons about friendship and acceptance in a gentle way, well-matched with understated watercolor illustrations that capture Jackie's famous smile. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-9)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670011629
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/14/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Robinson is the author of several children's books, as well as an educational consultant for Major League Baseball and the Vice Chairman of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. She lives in Apollo Beach, Florida.

E. B. Lewis has illustrated almost fifty picture books since 1993, many of them award winners. He teaches illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Folsom, New Jersey.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Special Treasure.

    A True Story of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Jackie Robinson: Jackie's Gift by Sharon Robinson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis is a wonderful story of kindness, compassion, and respect. Art work in this book is beautiful water-color illustrations. This book would be good for multicultural education. Also this would be a good book for read-aloud time for children during holiday festivals and/or social studies. Young readers in 3rd and 4th grade will probably be fascinated by this story. *A delightful Christmas and Hanukkah remembrance.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 22, 2012

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