Title: One Thousand Tracings
Author and Illustrator: Lita Judge
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Concepts: scarcity, poverty, altruism
Review: Elva, a six-year old American girl, felt relieved when the end of World War II brought her father back home safe. But a letter her parents received from friends in Germany brought disturbing news: these friends had only worn clothes, no shoes, and very little food, and many other families in Europe faced similar dire circumstances. Elva’s mother lost no time in putting together a care package and sending it overseas. Several weeks later a new letter arrived that included heartfelt thanks, a plea to help additional families in need, and tracings of their feet.
Elva and her mom found pairs of shoes to match each tracing, and so the cycle of letters and care packages continued for well over a year. It grew also as word of their assistance spread across local communities in both the U.S. and Europe. This inspiring book, based on the author’s family history, includes images from actual letters, photographs, and foot tracings that her mother and grandmother saved following their grassroots relief effort. One Thousand Tracings leaves younger readers with the powerful message that even small acts of kindness and generosity can make an impact that goes well beyond helping someone to meet their material needs.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children