Sunday, July 11, 2010

12th July

Patricia Polacco is an American author/illustrator whose books reflect her family heritage, upbringing and interests. She spent much of her childhood with grandparents, one pair Ukrainian and the other of Irish background. Her stories always have very positive relationships between children and older people. Many of her stories feature Babushka (a Russian grandmother), goats (a particular interest), and the theme of the outsider, this as a result of her own childhood and schoolyard treatment. She had dyslexia and did not read until she was fourteen and was bullied at school because of it. Her book Thank You, Mr Falker combines the theme of reading difficulties and the relationship between child and adult. The Keeping Quilt combines memories and babushka's role in keeping them.

My favourite of her books is Rechenka's Eggs, a lovely story to share at Easter. The decorated Russian eggs that are entered into a competition are beautiful, the story touching and the children wouldn't choose to read it themselves so it is always a surprise to them. In fact, in my library that is the case with many of Patricia's books. They are not borrowed until I or another teacher shares them with a class and then they are in big demand.

Patricia has her own very comprehensive website and there is an interview video of her on Reading Rockets.

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