Read Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant Chris K. Soentpiet Online


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. FulIn 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....

Title : Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780439313278
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story Reviews

  • Jen
    2019-03-23 16:31

    (The devil in me wants to begin with The Lonely Island."Well, you know it's Christmas, and my heart is open wide...One: Cut a hole in a box"Stop it devil. I'm resisting you. Think of the children, Jen.) This is not a bad book. I read it alone and liked it. It's a Christmas story of giving, receiving, and social responsibility. And that's not bad. There are a lot of stories with lessons in them that are done pretty well (My personal fave is The Lorax). Anyhow, I like this one okay, and this book resonates if the person reading the book wants to be reminded about giving, receiving, and social responsibility. The illustrations are not bad either. And plenty of readers look for books just like this at Christmas. And that is kind of what bothers me about this book. I have a not-so-sugarplum vision that ruins a story like this for me (and possibly others). In this vision, a misty-eyed adult community leader who is not a constant reader but just loves this children's book (it just blesses my heart and I know it can bless others!!!) is tasked with squeezing a treacly (thank you DK for keeping this word fresh in my mind) reading of this book into a 30 minute "look at us and our wonderful community reading" time slot- right before pictures with Santa.The vision has literacy as this golden goose- prized, precious and rare. The goose is so rare that the violent must take it by force and rape it into reproduction so that there might be literate peoples and significant literacy events everywhere. So this captured goose of an idea is brought out and many people ooh and aah over this worthy caged bird. The place is packed, it is Christmas, the time of community and smiling, of taking pictures with cellphone cameras of overdressed children sticky with candy cane. The story, (a touching one in its beginning that now has become, well, you decide... based on a real Santa Train begins and the reader tries to hammer home the moral lesson (Look children! Stay still and listen to the story! Not all get lots of presents on Christmas! Some boys and girls have nothing! See this boy? He is kind and grateful but also sad! This is reading! This is awareness! Pay attention! Isn't reading fun? Recognize the value of the golden goose before you!). But the children don't like the story. It is long and they can't focus and they are sitting next to other children they don't know. They know the grown-ups see a goose and they do too but for them it is not golden. It is trapped, like they are, criss-crossed applesauced. They are tired, the tags on their velvety Christmas outfits itch, and they are sweaty and just trying to keep from mauling the weepy reading adult so that they can see Santa and tell him what the hell they want. This vision scares me. The Santa Train website link scares me. The whole idea of the golden goose given to community organizers to trot out scares me. And yet this book isn't bad, it's a solid three point five on my (admittedly very arbitrary) scale. I'm worried that this book, this perfectly fine book will attract the right reader with all the best intentions carried out in all the wrong ways. And carrying this book out as a nice Christmas story to force feed new readers might ruin this story and ruin the right readers' best intentions entirely.

  • Heather
    2019-04-06 14:26

    I've been meaning to read this.How exciting: a train going by delivering presents.It was a little hard to read the words on the second page, with the car.-his car just took itself right over the side of a ridge, and the man slumped in that card hurting and scared.' This could have been worded better.It says they didn't know who saved him, Mr. Crookshank or Betty Pritt. Then it shows a woman taking care of him. The drawings aren't great. The woman looks a little mad.So because he was taken care of and nursed after the wreck, he repayed them by having the Christmas Train come to the mountains every December and throw presents to the children.'And for some, it will be the only present they receive.' That's sweet.It's weird how everyone is waiting on one side of the tracks and Frankie is standing on the other by himself.I found this too dramatic: 'but he is determined to wait, even if his feet and all the rest of him become ice.'I like the excitement of the train coming, some mothers are crying.I didn't know he wanted a specific present. What are the chances of getting a doctor kit? I was annoyed that he was so out of breath he couldn't yell thankyou to the 'rich man' after he got his gift. He did wave, though so that was nice.I wonder how long the 'rich man' has been doing this? He can't do it forever.I feel for Frankie when he opened the gift on Christmas morning and didn't get what he was hoping. It turned out to be a cowboy holster & three pairs of red socks. 'Frankie looks at his mother and father and brothers and sisters and tried not to cry.'It's good he had socks though. That's practical.The ppl are ugly and not realistic. It's heavy.I see where this is going. He's waiting for the train the next year, and this time his hands are cold.I didn't like how I turned the page and saw him with a police car, so I already knew he got that. He does get mittens.For the next three years he gets trucks, balls and games, mittens, socks and hats and scarves.Whoa! I turn the page and it's a middle aged man. I hate time jumps like this! He moved away, out of he hills. He looks back and remembers how his feet were freezing and he received socks, his hands were freezing and he got mittens. His throat was getting blasted by the wind and he got a scarf. His ears were cold and he got a hat.It's weird how each year a different body part was cold. Wouldn't they all have been cold, each year?How old is grown up anyway? How old is he?!?'& Frankie remembers something about owing a debt.' Wow. So he remembered the story.It said his brothers and sisters still lived there and were waiting for him. How old are they?I'm surprised to see the 'rich man' on the back of the train in his blue coat with his silver package. Frankie is a grown man, how old is this guy? '& he nearly runs after the train, so strong are his memories. This grown man nearly runs after a silver package.' Aw, that's sweet. He's remembering the little child in him.He sees a little girl trip while trying to get her packages so he goes running to her.He wipes off her tears, although idk why she's crying. She got a present and only tripped in the snow. At least she got a present. It seems like he only throws one off. This little girl looks sickly. 'He had meant to wave to the rich man. But there wasn't time.' OMG!-"you'll be all right," he tells her. "I'll make sure."He pulls open his kit to look for a band-aid. "Name's frank." He smiles. "I'm a doctor."I had seen a doctors bag when the girl tripped so I figured he was a doctor. But I guess kids might not notice that.This was supposed to be this big thing. The story coming full circle. But it didn't feel that way.I thought when he said owe a debt, he would go talk to the rich man and explain how he helped him, and how his gifts kept him warm as a kid. Or team up with him and help pass out presents. I did not think he'd get to the train, see a girl that just so happens to trip, go help her and then offer her a bandaid that I'm not sure how she needed, because she tripped in the snow,& then forget all about thanking/helping the guy who helped him as a kid.The girl tripping was a whole setup for frank to announce he was a doctor. It veered away from the original story. & robbed us of a true ending.It also didn't fit the description. It said he learned the true meaning of Christmas. I thought he'd realize that Christmas isn't about gifts. After reading, you'd think he realize it's not about things you want but things you need. But he only realized that the man had given him things he'd needed each year as he needed them. Then he announced all hero-like that he's a doctor. Ooh wouldn't it have been nice for frank to tell the rich man how he'd helped him, and for frank to join him in handing out presents to the kids, and then take over for him some day?Idk what they're talking about saying he wasn't Santa Claus, because this guy seems immortal.There really wasn't a moral to the story. It showed me why I had planned to read this first among the books I got. It didn't fit the description or what I thought this story would be.

  • Wilted
    2019-04-13 17:42

    My mother used to cry at this book. This seemed, at the time, to be the result of some mysterious and alien disease only contracted by those over the age of twenty-one. Not one to question the rituals of the adult world (which was probably responsible for some terribly stunted growth on my part, I'm sure), I never looked past the Christmas card pictures at the story.I was not an illiterate child. There was nothing I liked more than a good story, but let's face it. My mother would have gotten more appreciation for this book out of the toaster, for all I understood it. Oh, the story got through to me. It just failed to resonate emotionally. How was I supposed to appreciate the acts of kindness in the Appalachians, or even understand the reasons behind the delivery of the titular packages? Consider for a moment the classic Snowy Day. Peter sets out from home, mostly banal things happen. But it's there: it's presented almost magically, in a way which children understand. When Peter's snow melts, it's a moment of genuine dismay. The triumphs and struggles in Silver Packages barely crossed my mind. It's one thing to read a child a story. It's another to have it mean something to them. The main character's dream of becoming a doctor is straightforward enough, but few children consider the obstacles he faces. If he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, won't he? A child does not imagine the hardships involved, the challenges. A children's book shouldn't be touching because of external influences. It should speak to the child, and that is Silvers Packages' greatest fault. The Polar Express has much more in the way of an intriguing, straightforward Christmas story. Considering the fact that the thing I most vividly remember about this book is the brilliant silver wrappings which were so keenly illustrated, I would have probably been more stimulated by an hour with some aluminum foil.

  • Gina
    2019-04-18 14:22

    This is a wonderful story based on a true event - the yearly Santa Train in the Appalachian mountains. Legend has it that a rich man who was traveling through the mountains had an accident. The townspeople saved his life, and every year to repay their kindness, he sent out a train full of gifts, and tossed silver packages off the train to the children. One little boy always hoped for a doctor's kit, but never got one. After the little boy grows up, he becomes successful and desires to return to the mountains - as their doctor!I enjoyed this book! Full of emotion and beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend it!This book would be good as a Christmas read aloud to grades K-4. Discussion topics could be gratefulness, following your dreams, and provision.

  • Andrea Hussey
    2019-04-11 10:23

    The idea of a Christmas Train in the Appalachian Mountains delivering presents each year was really cool.The story wasn't told in a warm or inviting way. "No one knows why he came up into the hills, by why isn't important."Then a few lines later: "Some say it was old Mr. Crookshank, but others say it was Betty Pritt. But who came along isn't important either."If it isn't important, then stop saying it.There was so much writing on most of the pages. I dreaded reading them. A rich man wrecked in the mountains, and someone helped him and nursed him. He tried to pay them but they wouldn't accept it. Apparently he commands a whole train that he brings into the mountains every year to repay that debt. It's incredibly stupid of him to expect a doctor's kit, when the old man couldn't possibly know he wants it. And he should have been grateful for getting a present at all. On Christmas morning he found out it was a holster and 3 pairs of socks. He tried not to cry. What a spoiled brat, and for someone who's poor and doesn't get presents, he was especially so. The watercolor illustrations weren't working. The people were so ugly it was hard to look at them. His stupid family was back there grinning like fools, with thin, squinted eyes, just looking like idiots.I couldn't believe the next year he still wanted the kit, went to the tracks hoping for it, getting another free gift and not seeming grateful. His feet are warm though from those socks, which still fit. But his hands are cold. I saw gloves in the future. And what do you know? He got two pairs of mittens. Jeez. And him not crying about getting a police car and mittens is supposed to make him grateful I think. It's not.3 more years pass--terrible sense of timing here--in which he gets trucks, balls, games, hats and scarves. Frankie grew into a man, worked in the city but still remembers being given presents he needed for the cold, and he knows he owes a debt. It was so ridiculously stupid how he went home, waited for the train, and then watched this dumb girl trip over the package that landed on the ground. Think she's okay, man. All she did was trip in the snow, not get hit by the train."the grown man does run now, but not for a train. Not for a rich man in a wool coat. For a little girl."Ugh. That is trying way too hard. And so freaking aggravatingly, he doesn't even get to talk to the old man--who's amazingly still alive--because he has to take care of this waif who fell down in the snow. I bet she's really hurt. He didn't get to even wave at the man. What is up with that? And the first year there he didn't say thanks because he was out of breath. What a great idea that he never shows gratitude. Awesome.He tells her she'll be alright, he'll make sure. Um, yeah. I think she really is all right. But he's a doctor, so it's a great story...not.

  • Jenny
    2019-04-07 11:30

    A rich man was in an accident in Appalachia and the people cared for him. They refused his offers to pay them. So every year he returns at Christmas time in a Christmas train and drops silver packages for the children do the town...often the only presents they receive. Frankie is a young boy who waits each year for the train to come, always hoping it will have a doctor kit for him. It never does but does have other beloved objects. I love these lines the most, "...just when it seemed his feet would freeze like the snow, a man on a train had brought socks. Just when it seemed his fingers were hardening to ice, the man had brought mittens. Just when the cold wind was cutting sharp as a blade into his throat, the man had brought a scarf. And just when Frankie's ears were numb with red cold, the man had brought a hat." I hope that, in some small way, the things I do impact others around me as this man's gifts impacted Frankie. And that I can help my children to see that it truly is better to give than receive.

  • Heather
    2019-03-25 16:27

    After a wealthy man is injured in a car accident in Appalachia, he is nursed back to health by the locals only for them to refuse payment when he is well again. As a thank you, the wealthy man returns on a train every 23rd of December bringing Christmas gifts to the poverty stricken children of the area. One little boy hopes very much for a toy doctor’s kit. He receives other toys as well as warm socks, mittens and a hat throughout the years. The boy returns to the mountains as an adult with his own special gifts to give. Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet.This is a touching and beautiful Christmas story that opens up the ideas of wants versus needs and unconditional giving. Children will appreciate the story of the Santa Train and the gifts it brings to the poor children, but this book really reaches out to adult readers who will really appreciate the giving spirit. The illustrations capture the setting, especially those of the train and how large and full of hope it was to the children. An excellent addition to a holiday bookshelf.

  • Foxytocin
    2019-04-07 14:18

    A sweet and thoughtful story that addresses several important issues quite well: want vs need, the significance of giving with no strings attached, introspection....all very adult issues but portrayed in a way that thoughtful children will understand. This is the sort of book that when shared with our children, launches all sorts of conversations we should all probably have with our kids....some questions easier to answer than others.It's also a tear-jerker for those adults who understand all too well. Poignant.

  • Ryann Lund
    2019-04-08 13:35

    This is a really wonderful book. I love how the old man helps pay back the people by giving them Christmas presents off the back of the train. And frank gets to be a doctor when he grows up.

  • Cindy
    2019-04-11 10:34

    Beautiful story with a moral, typical of Appalachian folk lore! I loved this book! And, the illustrations are awesome! Highly recommended!

  • Karen
    2019-03-24 15:27

    A story showing how God always provides what we need even more than what we want and yet never forgets our wants as well...krb 12/6/16

  • Lynda
    2019-04-11 18:35

    “It was a little sad because Frankie wished for a doctor kit but every year he didn’t get one. I wish the little girl could get what she wished for. They were poor and the socks and mittens are important. It’s not good to be cold or hurt. At Christmas you get what you get and don’t get upset. It’s special because someone picked it out and gave it to you. Some kids don’t get any presents. Or maybe just one present that they need. I like this story but it is a little sad.” - V, age 4

  • Sharon
    2019-04-12 13:38

    This is truly, a perfect Christmas story. The paintings by Chris K. Soentpiet beautifully and tenderly illustrate this heart-felt story of hope, expectations and ultimately the true giving of oneself back to their community.

  • Kim
    2019-03-23 17:30

    Selected as Christmas Read Aloud for my 3rd/4th grade students. Introduced story by talking about the real Christmas Train. Students were intrigued and very excited to hear the story. Also talked about how important childhood experiences and memories are, how they shape our future actions.

  • Cheryl
    2019-04-08 18:21

    Saccharin lesson in Paying it Forward. I didn't even like Soentpiet's art as much as usual. Why do most Christmas stories have so much sentiment that they can't be enjoyed the rest of the year?

  • Teri
    2019-04-05 17:29

    Loved, loved this sweet story. There are good messages in this story that as an adult I am pondering. It is illustrated beautifully and will captivate a child. Love this story so much!

  • Wendy
    2019-03-29 18:43

    What a beautiful story. Several good teaching moments and themes in this lovely story about an Appalachian community. I always enjoy books by Cynthia Rylant.

  • Rebecca Caufman
    2019-03-25 18:29

    Sometimes what you want...isn't what you need. Be thankful for what you have and keep working hard.

  • Laurie
    2019-04-17 16:39

    Booklist (Vol. 94, No. 1 (September 1, 1997))Ages 5-8. Nursed back to health in an Appalachian community after a serious accident, a grateful, wealthy man returns every December 23. From the platform of a caboose, he tosses silver-wrapped packages to the children. Every year, young Frankie gets a gift, though the doctor's kit he wishes for never comes. As a grown man and doctor, Frankie recalls the silver packages, feels he owes a debt, and moves back to the mountains where he once again sees the Christmas train and brings his own medical gifts. With restraint and an economy of words, Rylant's emotionally rich story, taken from Children of Christmas: Stories for the Season (1987), speaks eloquently of gratitude and social responsibility. Soentpiet's handsome, realistic paintings capture the drama, rural landscape, and full range of human emotion. Spiritual yet not religious, this Christmas story is recommended, even for those libraries with Children of Christmas.Horn Book (March, 1998)Every Christmas, Frankie eagerly awaits the arrival of the train that brings presents to the children of Appalachian coal towns. Frankie grows up to be a doctor and returns to his community in a continuation of the cycle of giving. Photorealistic watercolors sometimes seem too staged, but convey a strong sense of place in this preachy but appealing package, the text of which was originally published in Rylant's collection The Children of Christmas.School Library Journal (October 1997)Gr 1-4--Full-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 children--and especially Frankie--feel 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.

  • Becky
    2019-04-19 10:22

    Silver Packages is a picture book for older readers most likely. I wouldn't say it is for an exclusively adult audience. But I think readers need some perspective in order to appreciate the book fully. I think it can resonate with readers, it has the potential. But I don't think the emotional reaction would be--or even should be--automatic. One can't assume that every reader will respond with tears and "this is the best book I've ever read!!!" Silver Packages is about giving back to the community. In this instance, one very specific community--Appalachia. The book is about the Christmas Train. It starts with one man who wants to show his appreciation for the community that helped him when he needed it. He was injured in an accident, the community took in this stranger and nursed him back to health without asking for anything in return. He decides that he will come by train every year--by train--and hand out packages to the children who meet the train. These packages are wrapped in silver paper. Every story needs a protagonist. Silver Packages introduces us to Frankie. Readers first meet Frankie as a boy. He's a boy with a dream. He wants to be a doctor. And he really, really, really wants a doctor kit for Christmas. But each year, he's slightly disappointed. He receives a handful of silver packages through the years. Every gift seems to have a toy--something a boy or girl might want--and something a boy or girl might need. The practical gifts include: socks, mittens, hats, scarves, etc. Readers later see Frankie all grown up. He is a doctor. He reflects on his life, on his past Christmases, he has a light-bulb moment. He decides it is his turn to give back to the community in his own special way. It's a book about kindness and gratefulness and community awareness.

  • April
    2019-04-20 14:29

    terrible. I'm unsure as to what the moral of this is supposed to be... rich people such and attached their guilt by bestowing gifts in the poor? put people want to stand beside by train tracks waiting for handouts? memories change? ick. ick. ick.

  • Larissa
    2019-03-30 14:26

    Rylant, Cynthia, and Chris K. Soentpiet. Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story. New York: Orchard, 1997. Print. Ages 8+ Silver Packages is an awesome and touching story that takes readers through Frankie's Journey. Ever since he was a little boy, he helped an older man, but then every year before Christmas he would wait and see what packages would come to him. He ends up getting everything that he needs at that point in his life in the packages. Even though he becomes bummed and discouraged, looking back he realizes that at that point in his life that is exactly what he needs. I really liked this book because it made me feel for the little boy who was disappointed. I say that because I know how he feels, there are many times in which I as a child was upset at the gifts that I got, because it isn't what I wanted, but it is what I needed. Looking back it makes me grateful for the gifts that I did receive. I liked it because it makes me think of the real-life stories of how children have different wants and needs, and what they need to realize is what they need, instead of their wants.

  • Dolly
    2019-04-20 10:33

    This is a wonderful tale about a young boy's desire to get a specific present from the Christmas train. On one hand, the disappointment the boy experiences when he doesn't get the gift he wanted seems quite sincere, though ungrateful. On the other hand, the story shows the boy grown up, truly appreciative of the items he received, especially those items he really needed. He realizes the magic of the continuous generosity of the man who tosses the packages from the train and finds a way to give back, too. Overall, I thought this was a touching and heartwarming story. I loved the historical aspect of the tale and the fact that the Christmas train really exists. You can find out more here. We really enjoyed reading this story together.

  • Ronda
    2019-04-15 12:47

    I've been reading this with my students in conjunction with a discussion of genre. What's really neat is that, even though the kids are really excited with all the holiday parties, when I get into the story, I notice that they become incredibly still--more so than with other stories I've tried reading right before break. This story really seems to resonate with them. Addendum, Dec. 2015. I had forgotten how powerfully this story could be. This time, I introduced the story with a brief discussion of where the Appalachian Mountains are using our online encyclopedia to show the map, and also reviewed historical fiction as realistic Fiction set in the past. Again, I was surprised at how still my 5th graders were for this story. (They are my last group of the day and "still" is not the norm!)

  • Susie
    2019-04-03 16:27

    My district was fortunate to have Soentpiet visit a few years ago, and today while discussing Christmas books, one of my media clerks told me this was her favorite one. I had never heard of it, and was trying to come up with a book-themed Christmas decoration for a church gathering. I instantly loved the book when I read it, and set out to decorate a tree to represent the book. Who knew it would be so hard to find a simple train?? It's such a great story of paying it forward, and not necessarily appreciating a present or kindness at first, but eventually maturing enough to recognize a true gift. My tree will be decked out with red socks, brown gloves, a scarf, balls, a toy police car, some wooden train engines, and many silver packages (good luck finding a toy gun anymore) Great story and paintings. Soentpiet described working on some books for months and months.

  • Sarah
    2019-04-18 12:21

    This is the story of two men: One who repays an emotional debt to a small town in the Appalachian mountains. He was nursed back to health after a car accident there, but the villagers refused his offer of money as repayment. To thank them, he returns every year by train to deliver presents wrapped in silver paper at Christmas time. The other man: a boy, our narrator, remembers waiting for the train each year, hoping for a toy doctor's kit. But each year, the silver package tossed from the train is something else; some other toy along with some practical item, like socks. As an adult, the boy looks back and realizes the man and his silver packages have taught him something - something about giving back to others.

  • Rosa Cline
    2019-03-29 13:44

    3 starsThis was a child's book but I felt it was to 'old' for my granddaughter and or my special needs teenage children so I read it myself before I returned it to the library.I like stories like this one. Based upon real life events that changed the hearts of others. And without these types of stories those of us who didn't live it would never know about it. This story is about giving back to those that can't do anything for you. Giving back to the home you were from. And believing in your dreams. I appreciate the 'thought' Ms Rylant gave to this book but I think she could have written it a bit differently to really bring home the meaning. But it still was a moving and sweet Christmas book.

  • Renee
    2019-04-07 15:29

    This is a story for an older group of student’s, maybe third or fourth grade, but it has a nice message and can be used in a classroom around the holidays for Text Participant discussion. This is why I placed the book in the Four Resource Model book shelf. The main character in this book is a young boy who comes from a low socio-economic-household. Every year a train comes around Christmas time and drops things for the children in the town like socks, sweaters ECT. The young boy wants gifts that are never dropped by the train; however, later in his life he learns that the gifts the train gave him were exactly what he needed. Ask students to Make Meaning and ask them What Does This text Mean to me?

  • Martine
    2019-04-14 16:39

    I am almost appalled that no one has ever told me about this story. I just chanced upon it one day and, after reading the story, I am delighted to have had such luck. I'm am surprised that people are not shouting the praises of the book from the highest hilltops of Appalachia. Having lived in the foothills of Appalachia my whole entire youth, and having attended a school where one of the promises they like for you to make it to come back to the region to serve, I have an appreciation for this tale that I cannot put into words. I look forward to reading it with my children, and even, one day, my grandchildren. It provides a life lesson on giving that has truly touched my soul, and I want to share it with others!

  • Josiah
    2019-04-19 14:37

    This book would get one and a half stars from me. I think it was a great idea for Cynthia Rylant to write about such an extraordinary event as the Christmas train that rides through the Appalachian Mountains area every year. Though I have family roots in northeast Pennsylvania close to some of the old coal towns, I hadn't heard of the remarkable Christmas train situation that serves as the foundation for Silver Packages. The amazing illustrations by Chris K. Soentpiet are some of the most incredible that I have ever seen in any picture book. Their depth and style clearly signify an artist of superior ability.