Janusz Korczak’s Children

Glo­ria Spiel­mam; Matthew Archam­bault, illus.
  • Review
By – December 16, 2011
As a child Hen­ryk Gold­szmidt saw that there were many poor chil­dren near his home in Poland. He want­ed to play with them but his par­ents, who were rich, wouldn’t let him asso­ciate with them. When he got old­er he wrote poems, plays, and sto­ries for them and lat­er went to med­ical school to become a doc­tor. He began to write sto­ries again about the poor under his pen name, Janusz Kor­czak. He became one of Poland’s best-loved children’s writ­ers. In 1912, Kor­czak opened a mod­el orphan­age for Jew­ish chil­dren from the poor­est fam­i­lies. He became known through­out Poland for his pro­gres­sive ideas in edu­cat­ing chil­dren. When Hitler invad­ed War­saw, Dr. Kor­czak famous­ly refused to be saved, march­ing with his 200 orphans to the train that took them to their deaths in Tre­blin­ka. This short chap­ter book with illus­tra­tions on each page and good use of white space is a good way to intro­duce the sub­ject of the Holo­caust to chil­dren in grades 2 – 5. The mut­ed real­is­tic illus­tra­tions reflect the dark sub­ject of the book. After­word, bib­li­og­ra­phy, chronol­o­gy of impor­tant dates in Dr. Korczak’s life.
Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

Discussion Questions