The Treasure Box

The Treasure Box cover
The Treasure Box by Dave Keane. Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

By Dave Keane
Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell
Penguin, 2022
32 pages


Ages 4-7

In her secret treasure box, a girl with brown skin collects special found items: a particularly smooth, round rock; a papery snakeskin; a large feather; a bird’s nest. She delights in sharing these items with her white grandfather when he visits. Grandpa examines each item with a magnifying glass and obvious appreciation before putting on his blue hat and accompanying his granddaughter on a treasure-finding walk. (The hat is repurposed as a basket for new items.) When Grandpa gets sick, the girl finds comfort in her treasures, and when she is able to visit Grandpa—first at home, where he now uses a nasal cannula, and later at the hospital—she brings along new items to share with him. When Grandpa dies, the girl attends his funeral, where she studies old photos and says goodbye “in [her] heart.” For a time, the treasure box becomes a source of sadness. But when Grammy finally visits, alone, she brings gifts—Grandpa’s magnifying glass, blue hat, and watch—that inspire the girl to share her treasures with her grandmother. The warmth and closeness between grandfather and granddaughter are beautifully depicted in the details of their interactions, and the story’s emotional arc is grounded in this child’s observations not only of loss but of the progression of her grandpa’s illness. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center