Join me today as we discover traces of kindness through the humanitarian endeavors of one remarkable family after the second World War. This picturebook written and illustrated by Lita Judge is a perfect addition to our theme on Scarred Souls & Bloodstained Memories: Tales of War and Poetry, Refuge and Peace.
One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II
Written and illustrated by: Lita Judge
Published by: Disney-Hyperion (2007)
Book borrowed from Wayne County Public Library.
Book photos taken by me.
It is a challenge for a nation to stand up and rebuild itself after the war. Lives were lost, properties were destroyed, and families were left homeless and starving. One Thousand Tracings is based on the true story of one American family’s effort to help German families that have suffered when the war ended.
Author-illustrator Lita Judge would spend every summer with her grandparents. During one of her stays, Lita found hundreds of foot tracings in her grandparents’ attic. When Lita discovered the story behind the tracings, she became inspired to write about it. She wrote the book in the perspective of her mother when her mother was only a young girl.
The men had fought their battles during the war.
Now Mama and I fought our own battle.
A battle to keep families alive.
To keep them safe from cold and hunger.
Families we didn’t even know,
yet we grew to love them.
Lita’s grandparents sent a care package to their German friends, the Kramers. Dr. Kramer, who later received a Nobel Prize, requested that Lita’s grandparents help other German families instead. What started as one hundred foot tracings became one thousand.
Soon a thousand tracings
lined the walls and floors.
A thousand tracings waiting for shoes,
like rows of trees waiting for rain.
Lita’s grandparents sought the help of their friends to provide for the German families. Whether they had less or more to give, they always found a way to help.
One Thousand Tracings is an inspiring biographical picturebook that highlights the power of kindness and compassion. The narrative was told in lyrical verses and the illustrations included paintings by Lita Judge and original photographs of foot tracings and care package items. One Thousand Tracings sends a message of hope and promotes human welfare. The text is slightly long but I think it’s perfect for read aloud.