by Jan DuRaine
(Valley Springs, CA)
Patricia Polacco (best children's author) has written and illustrated scores of wonderful books for children. Many, many of her books are dear to me.
As a retired special education teacher, I have always shared, "Thank You, Mr. Falker" with my learning disabled students because it tells of Ms. Polacco's struggle with a learning disability and the wonderful special education teacher who helped her. It is truly an inspiration for learning disabled children everywhere; as is her own success as a writer and illustrator.
Ms. Polacco's books are embellished with tales of her immigrant family's customs and values. Her warm, colorful illustrations and heartwarming stories, more often than not, will bring a tear to the eye.
"Mrs. Katz and Tush" is an unforgettable story of a loving Jewish woman and her cat, Tush. "Pink and Say", tells the story of two young men who served in the Civil War; one white, one black, and their amazing relationship. I can't read it without crying at the ending.
But my favorite of all of Ms. Polacco's books has got to be, "Uncle Vova's Tree", the story of a departed uncle and the animals who gathered to remember his passing.
I strongly recommend introducing any of Patricia Polacco's wonderful picture books to every teacher, parent, and child who has never had the joy of experiencing her work. I hope you'll share my love of this incredible author.
Patricia Polacco shares more of her story and many great parent/teacher ideas at her astounding web site. Give it a visit.
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