One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II by Lita Judge tells a story based on the author's own family history. After WWII, her grandparents living the Midwest, organized a way to help those in Europe left in the aftermath of the war. The story focuses on the relief effort that the author's own family coordinated (based on a box of artifacts the author/illustrator found in her grandparent's attic). The artwork-watercolor and collage-is beautiful, but it's the story that grabs the reader (written across time in chronological order).
The story of a girl and her mother sending shoes (and other needed items) to Europe, based on foot tracings they received is amazing. Starting with a letter (But just before Christmas, a letter arrived that changed everything...) we hear the story of a little girl and her family helping others (Families we didn't even know, yet we grew to love them). The storyline and the illustrations made this a wonderful addition to my collection.
I used this book during a study of synthesis with my third graders... we looked closely at how our thinking changed over time. Because the book focuses on helping others, it was a great text to take in slowly and carefully and move through during several crafting sessions during reader's workshop (nearing the end of our synthesis study).
I'm so glad Lita Judge found the box in the attic with thousands of "foot tracings" in it and even happier that she decided to investigate and write this lovely book. Hope, compassion, kindness, giving... all words that come to mind when I think about the importance of helping others.