Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story

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by Cynthia Rylant, Chris K. Soentpiet
     
 

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In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift a very special gift will be tossed to him from that train. It is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season… See more details below

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Overview

In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift a very special gift will be tossed to him from that train. It is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season. Full color.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Because he was rescued by kind people who refused payment for their good deed, a rich man would come through the Appalachian Mountains each year on the 23rd of December. He would toss silver packages from the train to the waiting children. One boy longed for a doctor kit, but each time he opened his Christmas package, it would contain a toy and scarf, mittens, or socks. They were all needed, but he so longed for a doctor kit. As an adult, he reflects on the rich man's gifts and thinks about his own need for repayment This story of Rylant's first appeared in a 1997 collection entitled Children of Christmas: Stories for the Season. It is a moving account with watercolor illustrations by Soentpiet that capture all of the starkness of winter in Appalachia and the joy that the rich man's presents brought. A perfect story for the Christmas season.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Since 1943, the Santa Train rolls through the Appalachian Mountains with Christmas cheer for the children of the coal towns. This served as inspiration for Cynthia Rylant's latest offering. A rich man, trying to repay a debt to the community, rides the Santa Train, tossing out packages to the children who wait eagerly for their gifts. Young Frankie hopes that the package he receives will be a doctor's kit. Yet, each year he gets practical gifts but never what he wants most. As an adult he realizes what a profound effect those gifts had on him and understands that he, too, must repay a debt. Elegant paintings enhance this story which first appeared in Rylant's Children of Christmas.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4Full-page watercolor paintings decorate this warm, sentimental story loosely based on actual events. Rylant traces the origins of an Appalachian "Christmas Train" that travels through the mountains each year on December 23 to a rich man who wished to repay a debt of kindness he had received many years before. He faithfully returns and tosses silver packages from the caboose to the coal-town children who wait by the tracks. One such child is Frankie, who longs for a doctor's kit every year; instead he gets much-needed socks or mittens along with small toys. As an adult, he moves back to the town to live and work, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a doctor. With her clear, balanced, and well-paced storyteller's voice, the author builds the anticipation and excitement that the childrenand especially Frankiefeel at the train's annual arrival. Although the heroic profile of this child-turned-man makes him more of a symbol than a real person, his story is capably told. The illustrations provide panoramic views of the Appalachian countryside, with deep nighttime blues and wintry colors, strengthening the sense of place. A well-rendered reflection on the importance of giving and sharing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780531300510
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/1997
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 10.44(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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