Author: Alice McLerran
Major Themes: Desert
Synopsis: The children of an Arizona town created their own town on a hill covered with rocks and boxes.
What a cute picture book! After I read a history lesson to my seven-year-old today, she wanted a picture book read to her, as well. Our history book has a long list of picture books with historical themes, so I looked several of them up on an online library we use. The first one I found on there was Roxaboxen. I had never read it, but I recognized the illustrator, Barbara Cooney—she wrote and illustrated Miss Rumphius, a delightful story.
Roxaboxen was a hillside covered with rocks and boxes in Yuma, Arizona. The neighborhood children played there all the time, and created their own city and houses with the rocks and boxes they found. They had shops and a policeman who arrested people who drove cars too fast—but the same rules didn’t apply to people with horses! There was a cemetery, too. I chuckled at what was buried there!
This is a lovely story. The day I read it to my daughter, I brought it up on the iPad in the evening, and my 12-year-old son, after looking at it over my shoulder, took it and read the whole thing, studying the pictures as he went. They are beautiful and so detailed! This is a book I will snatch up if I find a used copy somewhere. It would be a delightful addition to any child’s library.
Listening Level—Ages 3 – 4, 5 – 8
Reading Independently—Ages 7 – 9