Let the Celebrations Begin!Let the Celebrations Begin! by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Julie Vivas.Orchard Books:New York, 1991.Brief Overview:This book as about a young girl, Miriam, and other women in theBelsenconcentration camp preparing for a childrens party to be held after liberation. It is really a story about hope and the power of human spirit to survive. The women make toys out of scraps of materials and even their own clothing so that each child will receive a toy of their own. The British liberators arrive and the party really does begin.Suggested Activities:
1. Have students make or design a toy out of the few materials that would be available in a concentration camp.
Begin by showing the picture of the toy butterfly made by a prisoner at the Theresienstadt ghettoin Czechoslavakia. This picture can be found on page 97 of the book Tell Them We Remember by Susan D. Bachrach, copyright 1994. Discuss why it is important for children to draw, write poems etc.
2. Use the book, I Never Saw Another Butterfly...Childrens Drawings and Poems from Terezin Concentration Camp 1942-1944, edited by Hana Volavkova, copyright 1993, Schocken Books, Inc. Read aloud pg. vii about the children of Terezin. Have students look at the drawings and poems in this book. There are many to select that students might want to respond to, also in the form of poetry or art.
3. Because this picture book deals with liberation, students may be interested in the novel, After the War by Carol Matas, Aladdin Books, 1996. It is about a teenage girl liberated from Buchenwaldwho tries to return home after the war. None of her family survived so she joins an underground organization to smuggle illegal immigrants to Palestine, risking her own life.
4. Have students look at the following website, entitled "No Child's Play," which displays children's toys and games that were made during the Holocaust.