I am constantly blown away by the amazing books that people are writing today.
We are a country of immigrants, and there have certainly been lots of books and stories written about immigrants and their experiences. I can not recall reading one that has moved me as much as The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman. Perhaps it is because I am now a grandmother that I more deeply appreciate the importance of grandparents in the lives of their grandchildren. I was so very lucky with my own children’s grandparents – my mother was a primary school teacher and always had nothing but time and energy for her grandchildren and today for her great-grandchildren! With boundless energy, when asked she never said no to any request for help with a little one…and today she is still the same – relishing every moment with her little ones. My husband’s parents, too, always had time for our little ones – and were avid readers who generously shared their love with their grandchildren.
The great-grandfather who is the narrator of The Matchbox Diary is very special, too. You know that he had to be to start a collection of small meaningful objects, save them in matchboxes and keep his collection safe in an old cigar box. Every box held a special treasure, a key to a memory not to be forgotten. And to be able to share his memories with his great-granddaughter…priceless, as they say.
Although this book is for a child older than my Little Darling – it will have a place on our library shelf…waiting for him until he is old enough to appreciate the love in the story and the wonderfully detailed illustrations by Bagram Ibatouline that so vividly depict the immigrant experience and the special bond that exists between a grandparent and child.