Christina Katerina and the Box | A Best Picture Book Review

by tandemonimom

Christina Katerina may be the most inventive child ever!

Christina Katerina and the Box

This wonderful book is sadly only available used, or find it at your library!

"Active imagination" does not even begin to describe Christina Katerina. This is a child who lives fully in the moment, revelling in whatever is taking place around her. When her mother gets a new refrigerator, Christina Katerina commandeers the giant cardboard refrigerator box, parking it on the front lawn.

Her father helps her convert it into a clubhouse, and it's a great clubhouse. It's even better when her friend Fats comes back from vacation and helps her run the club. Until Fats gets in a snit and sits on the box, collapsing it. Her mother's relief at being able to throw the box away now is premature, however, as Christina Katerina can instantly see that, of course, it's not a clubhouse, it's a racecar! When the racecar is wrecked, Christina Katerina instantly converts it to another use, and another, and another, until it is down to being a flat dance floor. When Fats tries to clean it with the hose and it finally disintegrates completely, her mother is finally able to clean the whole thing away, to her very short-lived satisfaction. You see, Fats's mother just got some new appliances, and Christina Katerina told Fats to bring the cardboard washer and dryer boxes on over ... her mom won't mind a bit!

Christina Katerina and the Box

Christina Katerina & the Big Box
Only $20.43

Author and Illustrator

Patrcia Lee Gauch and Doris Burn

Patricia Lee Gauch is an author, editor, and teacher. She has a Ph.D. in Literature and has taught writing and children's literature at the college level, and was editorial director of Philomel Books for 25 years. Her beloved books include the Christina Katerina series and the Tanya series as well as many others.

Doris Burn is a prolific children's book illustrator. Whenever I come across a favorite book from childhood (The Summerfolk, We Were Tired of Living in a House) I notice how frequently it was illustrated by Doris Burn, and how vividly her beautiful illustrations have lingered in my memory!

Addressing Perfectionism

Christina Katerina and the Box, along with another book titled Regina's Big Mistake, are two books I read over and over to my oldest daughter to try to help her see that she need not be stifled by her inborn perfectionism, but there is a big difference in the approach the two books take.

Regina is obviously a stifled perfectionist, but Christina Katerina is just the opposite: a vivid girl living in the moment, and whatever disaster wrecks the current moment is transformed in a flash to a new scenario so perfect in itself that the "messed up" version from before is forgotton almost instantly.

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All book reviews on this page are personal favorites of my family!
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Updated: 12/30/2011, tandemonimom
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Book Treasures By Brenda on 07/01/2011

No one, anymore although if I pick up one we used to love, my sons will listen.

Jimmie on 06/29/2011

You are right about picture books. A living book, regardless of the audience (adult or children) is wonderful to read!

Dianne on 06/28/2011

Christina Katerina sounds like a wonderful children's book! Thanks for the recommendation!

tandemonimom on 06/28/2011

Joan, they might sit still for this one: it's so much fun!

petunia on 06/28/2011

Our grandchildren are old enough to read "chapter" books, so I don't get to read to them as much as I would like. But I sure will be trying to read this one ! :)

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