Let the Celebrations BEGIN!

Let the Celebrations BEGIN!

by Margaret Wild, Julie Vivas
     
 

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Based on a reference to a small collection of stuffed toys made by Polish women in Belsen for the first children's party held after the liberation, Let the Celebrations Begin! is a moving testament to all that is good in mankind. See more details below

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Overview

Based on a reference to a small collection of stuffed toys made by Polish women in Belsen for the first children's party held after the liberation, Let the Celebrations Begin! is a moving testament to all that is good in mankind.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Discussing Nazi concentration camps in a picture book demands an extraordinary balance of sensitivity and fidelity to history; Wild and Vivas make a brave effort but fall short of attaining this standard. The story plunges the reader into an unnamed concentration camp--indeed, no clues are supplied to explain either the camp's existence or its prisoners' presence there. There are neither guards nor guns; and the story line contains similar omissions. Just prior to the camp's liberation, Miriam, just old enough to remember home, plentiful food and toys, joins women in gathering odd scraps to fashion into toys, to be given to the other children after they are freed. (A prefatory note mentioning toys created by the women of Belsen attempts to authenticate this improbable plot; more likely these were made after liberation.) Throughout an effort is made to put a good face on horror: suffering is suggested visually chiefly by twisting the big-eyed characters into grotesque postures, and there's something monstrous about forcing the moribund into cheerful attitudes. The book will raise disturbing questions, but leaves it to others to offer the even more disturbing answers. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-- From a sentence in a volume on antique toys and a short narrative description of the moment of liberation in one Nazi concentration camp, Wild has created this moving scenario. Told in first person by a young woman inmate of Bergen Belsen, this poignant vignette relates how a few women used scraps of material--many torn from their own ragged clothing--to create stuffed toys to be given to the few remaining children when the camp was liberated. Only adults and older children acquainted with Hitler's Holocaust will be able to appreciate this tribute to the stalwart women of the story, who, rising above hunger, deprivation, and inhuman living conditions, held fast to their belief that salvation would come. Against stark white backgrounds, Vivas has painted the small group of raggedly clothed, stubble-haired, thin-legged women and children; all of their faces radiate hope. This is a work of love. Its brief text and picture book format belie the sophisticated message that it bears. To those who understand, it will bring disturbing, heart-rending feelings of sadness. But these are the survivors, and their story must be told. --Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531070765
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/1996
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.27(w) x 10.98(h) x 0.13(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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