PPBF: Castle On Hester Street

25th Anniversary Edition – 2007

Author: Linda Heller
Illustrator: Boris Kulikov
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers 2007 (Text copyright: 1982)
Age Level: 4 and up
Themes: immigrant experience, grandparents, tall tales, imagination
Opening: One day while Julie was visiting her grandparents, her grandfather said, “Did I ever tell you about my good friend Moishe?”
Summary: (from Amazon) A flying goat, buttons the size of sleds, and a castle on Hester Street are some of the widely imaginative stories Julie’s grandpa tells her about his journey from Russia to New York many years ago. But Grandma’s no-nonsense memories are far different from Grandpa’s tall tales. This classic story, which reveals the immigrant experience with wit and warmth, won the Sydney Taylor Book Award when it was originally published with Linda Heller’s own illustrations. Now, on its twenty-fifth anniversary, The Castle on Hester Street is given new life with Boris Kulikov’s vibrant paintings.

Why I like this book: The summary says all, but this gem is delightful and VERY funny, despite being a wonderful way to bring the immigrant experience closer to children.
Resources/Activities: Great book to instigate and answer questions when teaching a unit on immigration: check out ideas here
For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE