Polacco, Patricia 1944-
Polacco, Patricia 1944-
Polacco, Patricia 1944-
Born July 11, 1944, in Lansing, MI; daughter of William F. (a traveling salesman and television talk-show host) and Mary Ellen (a teacher) Barber; married c. 1962 (marriage ended); married Enzo Mario Polacco (a chef and cooking instructor), August 18, 1979; children: (first marriage) Traci Denise, Steven John. Education: Attended Ohio State University, California College of Arts and Crafts, and Lancy College; Morash University (Melbourne, Australia), B.F.A. (painting), 1974; Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, M.A., Ph.D. (art history), 1978; also studied in England, France, and Russia Hobbies and other interests: Travel, running, pets, painting, sculpture, egg art.
Home—Union City, MI. Agent—Edythea Selman, 14 Washington Pl., New York, NY 10003.
Author and illustrator, 1986—. Consultant on icon restoration; Babushka, Inc., founder. Speaker for school and reading organizations.
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
International Reading Association Award for Younger Readers, 1989, for Rechenka's Eggs; Sydney Taylor Book Award for Picture Books, 1989, for The Keeping Quilt; Commonwealth Club of California Award, 1990, for Babushka's Doll, and 1992, for Chicken Sunday; Boston Area Education for Social Responsibility Award, 1992; Golden Kite Award for Illustration, 1992, for Chicken Sunday; Jane Addams Award Honor Book designation, 1993 for Mrs. Katz and Tush; American Book of the Year Award nomination, 1995, and West Virginia Children's Book Award, 1997, both for Pink and Say; Jo Osborne Award for Humor, 1996; North Dakota Library Association Children's Book Award, 1996, and Missouri Show Me Readers' Award, 1997, both for My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother; Parents' Choice honor designation, 1998, and Gold Award, 1999, both for Thank You, Mr. Falker; Mid-South Independent Booksellers Humpty Dumpty Award, 1998.
PICTURE BOOKS; SELF-ILLUSTRATED, EXCEPT AS NOTED
Meteor!, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1987.
Rechenka's Eggs, Philomel (New York, NY), 1988.
Boat Ride with Lillian Two Blossom, Philomel (New York, NY), 1988.
(With Ernest Lawrence Thayer) Casey at the Bat, Putnam (New York, NY), 1988.
The Keeping Quilt, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1988, tenth anniversary edition with eight new drawings, 1998.
Uncle Vova's Tree, Philomel (New York, NY), 1989.
Babushka's Doll, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1990.
Just Plain Fancy, Bantam (New York, NY), 1990.
Thunder Cake, Philomel (New York, NY), 1990.
Some Birthday!, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1991.
Appelemando's Dreams, Philomel (New York, NY), 1991.
Chicken Sunday, Philomel (New York, NY), 1992.
Mrs. Katz and Tush, Bantam (New York, NY), 1992.
Picnic at Mudsock Meadow, Putnam (New York, NY), 1992.
The Bee Tree, Putnam (New York, NY), 1993.
Babushka Baba Yaga, Philomel (New York, NY), 1993.
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1994.
Pink and Say, Philomel (New York, NY), 1994.
Tikvah Means Hope, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1994.
Babushka's Mother Goose (collection of stories and poems), Philomel (New York, NY), 1995.
My Ol' Man, Philomel (New York, NY), 1995.
The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1996.
Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair, Philomel (New York, NY), 1996.
I Can Hear the Sun: A Modern Myth, Philomel (New York, NY), 1996.
In Enzo's Splendid Gardens, Philomel (New York, NY), 1997.
Uncle Isaaco, Philomel (New York, NY), 1997.
Mrs. Mack, Philomel (New York, NY), 1998.
Thank You, Mr. Falker, Philomel (New York, NY), 1998.
Welcome Comfort, Philomel (New York, NY), 1999.
Luba and the Wren, Philomel (New York, NY), 1999.
The Calhoun Club, Philomel (New York, NY), 2000.
The Butterfly, Philomel (New York, NY), 2000.
Betty Doll, Philomel (New York, NY), 2001.
Mr. Lincoln's Way, Philomel (New York, NY), 2001.
When Lightning Comes in a Jar, Philomel (New York, NY), 2002.
A Christmas Tapestry, Philomel (New York, NY), 2002.
The Graves Family, Philomel (New York, NY), 2003.
G Is for Goat, Philomel (New York, NY), 2003.
An Orange for Frankie, Philomel (New York, NY), 2004.
Oh, Look!, Philomel (New York, NY), 2004.
John Philip Duck, Philomel (New York, NY), 2004.
Mommies Say Shhh!, Philomel (New York, NY), 2005.
The Graves Family Goes Camping, Philomel (New York, NY), 2005.
Emma Kate, Philomel (New York, NY), 2005.
Something about Hensley's, Philomel (New York, NY), 2006.
Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare, Philomel (New York, NY), 2006.
Ginger and Petunia, Philomel (New York, NY), 2007.
Several of Polacco's works have been translated into Spanish.
Firetalking (autobiography), photographs by Lawrence Migdale, Richard C. Owen (Katonah, NY), 1994.
Spoken Arts video adaptations of Polacco's books include Rechenka's Eggs, 1991, Chicken Sunday, 1992, The Keeping Quilt, 1993, Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair, 1996, Pink and Say, 1996, Thank You, Mr. Falker, 1999, Christmas Tapestry, 2004, and John Philip Duck, 2005, Rechenka's Eggs, and Thunder Cake. Sound recordings of author's works include Chicken Sunday, Scholastic, 1993; Just Plain Fancy, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio, 1994; Casey at the Bat, Spoken Arts, 1994; The Keeping Quilt, Spoken Arts, 1998; Meteor!; Thunder Cake; and Thank You, Mr. Falker. Several of Polacco's works have been issued in book/cassette combinations.
Author and illustrator Patricia Polacco is "as natural a storyteller as they come," according to Shannon Maughan in Publishers Weekly. The highly praised, award-winning Polacco has over thirty picture books to her credit, quite a feat in light of the fact that she did not start publishing until 1987, at the age of forty-one. A popular writer and artist, Polacco is lauded for transforming childhood memories, favorite episodes from
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family history, and elements from her Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish, and Irish heritage into books that are noted for their freshness, originality, warmth, panache, and universality. The characters in books such as The Keeping Quilt, Uncle Vova's Tree, Pink and Say, My Ol' Man, In Enzo's Splendid Gardens, Welcome Comfort, and The Butterfly reflect a variety of races, religions, and age groups, celebrating both diversity and commonality, while My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is drawn directly from her own childhood. Several of Polacco's works retell family stories that have been handed down for generations; while often including Russian and Jewish customs and folklore, she has also written about African and Native Americans, the Irish, and the Amish. Her stories are noted for clear, fluid language that makes them suitable for reading aloud. As an illustrator, she works in watercolor, gouache, charcoal, and collage, and characteristically offsets images penciled on a stark white field with bright colors and patterned backgrounds. Praising Polacco's renderings of facial expressions as "priceless," School Library Journal reviewer Grace Oliff wrote in her review of John Philip Duck that the picture book's "artwork is simply beautiful as the artist orchestrates a harmonious symphony of color."
Polacco was born in Lansing, Michigan, in 1944, the daughter of William Barber, a salesman who became a television talk-show host, and Mary Ellen Gaw Barber, a teacher. Her father was of Irish descent and her mother was from a Russian and Ukrainian background. After her parents' divorce when she was three years old, Polacco and her older brother spent their school years with their mother and summers with their father. The author spent her early childhood on a farm in Union City, Michigan. When she was five, her beloved Babushka (grandmother) passed away, after which Polacco, her mother, and brother moved to Coral Gables, Florida, for three years before settling in Oakland, California. Writing on her home page, Polacco recalled that living on the farm in Union City "was the most magical time of my life" and "my Babushka and other grandparents were some of the most inspirational people in my life."
Polacco inherited a natural storytelling voice from both sides of the family. Although stories—both oral and read from books—fascinated the introspective girl, she had problems reading on her own. At age fourteen Polacco was finally diagnosed with dyslexia; by this time, however, she had already suffered her classmates' taunts due to her lackluster progress in reading and math. Sketching and illustrating became her focus; her classmates were speechless when confronted with her fluid artwork. The world created by her own imagination became Polacco's refuge during adolescence.
Graduating from high school, Polacco received a college scholarship, but instead she decided to marry at age eighteen. She attended Ohio State University for a couple of terms, but eventually dropped out to go to
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work and have two children, Traci and Steven. After she and her first husband were divorced, Polacco completed her undergraduate studies in California. She went to Australia for further education, earning an M.F.A. in painting from Morash University in Melbourne and a Ph.D. in Russian and Greek iconographic history from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. While studying in Australia, Polacco met her second husband, Enzo Polacco, an Italian Jew from Trieste, Italy, who is a chef and cooking instructor as well as a Holocaust survivor.
Throughout her life, Polacco has been a maker of books. As she told Maughan in Publishers Weekly, "I've always made rough dummies, like thick greeting cards, for people in my life to celebrate any occasion." At the insistence of a friend who admired these efforts, Polacco joined her local chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and began adapting her family stories as picture books. In 1987, she and her mother went to New York City to shop around Polacco's eighty-pound portfolio, visiting sixty publishers in a single week. "I was too stupid to be frightened, and I just loved it," she recalled to Maughan. The same year, Polacco sold her first book, Meteor!
Meteor! is the "mostly true" tale about the events that occur after a fallen star crashes in the backyard of Grampa and Gramma Gaw in Union City, Michigan. After the meteor lands, the news buzzes through town, more detailed with every telling. Soon the farm becomes a carnival ground complete with a circus. When the festivities end, the townspeople who have touched the meteor feel that it has changed their lives. Called "an affectionate poke at small-town life" by a critic in Kirkus Reviews, Meteor! was praised by a Publishers Weekly critic as "an enchanting book [that] overwhelmingly expresses the magic that suddenly pervades a small town, from the funny, folksy way the story is told to the imaginative, full-color illustrations." Polacco produced The Calhoun Club, a sequel to Meteor!, in 2000. In this book, children's author Petra Penwrite sets out to prove that the meteorite in her hometown of Union City is real and that it grants wishes to children.
Rechenka's Eggs is a folkloric tale set in Russia before the communist revolution of 1917. In this work, old Babushka, who lives alone in her small country home, paints beautiful, prize-winning eggs that always win first place at the Easter Festival. Babushka rescues Rechenka, a goose shot by a hunter, nurses her back to health, and in so doing receives the gift of beautifully colored eggs which the goose lays for her. Noting the book's "beauty and authenticity," Shaun Traynor, reviewing the work for the Times Educational Supplement, called Rechenka's Eggs "the perfect Easter book
for all seasons." Leonard Marcus stated in the New York Times Book Review that Polacco's book "is as much about friendship and the workmanlike small things of this life as it is about faith," while Marcus Crouch concluded in Junior Bookshelf that "this lovely book introduces a new and outstanding talent to the field of children's books…. It is a picture-book of outstanding quality."
In one of Polacco's most popular books, The Keeping Quilt, little Patricia narrates the story of a quilt that has been in her family for many years. The quilt ties together four generations of an immigrant Jewish family and becomes a symbol of their love and faith. Writing in School Library Journal, Lee Bock called The Keeping Quilt a "beautifully conceived book" and a "lovely story," while Denise M. Wilms concluded in Booklist that, in addition to being "useful for the sense of history it presents to young viewers (especially in discussions of genealogy), this tale also carries a warm message on the meaning of family." In 1998, Polacco produced a revised, tenth-anniversary edition of The Keeping Quilt. The first edition ended with a picture of Polacco holding her newborn daughter; the revised edition expands the story with five new pages of text and paintings that depict the author's two children and their use of the keeping quilt.
Polacco has published several other books that deal with her Jewish heritage and the history of Jews in the United States and abroad. In Tikvah Means Hope, a Jewish family exhibits resilience after a devastating fire occurs in the hills of Oakland, California. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly wrote that Polacco's drawings "skillfully and emotionally convey the anguish and suffering of the community, as well as its resilience and hopefulness." In The Trees of the Dancing Goats Polacco once again draws on family memory and stories to tell the tale of how a Jewish family in Michigan helps make their neighbors' Christmas memorable during an outbreak of scarlet fever. "Polacco's brightly colored, detailed paintings in marking pens and pencil show a child in a close, loving home that is bursting with energy and joy," wrote Booklist contributor Hazel Rochman in a review of The Tree of the Dancing Goats.
With Uncle Isaaco, Polacco focuses on the events surrounding World War II and the Holocaust. In the book she tells how her husband, Enzo, was expelled from his home in Trieste, Italy, by the Nazis as a little boy and how he missed his beloved uncle most of all. She also details the suffering of the Jews in World War II and the bravery of the French Resistance in The Butterfly, a story originally told to her by her Aunt Monique. Monique's mother hides a Jewish family in her basement and tries to help them escape. Wendy Lukehart, writing in School Library Journal, called Uncle Isaaco a "perfect blend of art and story," while Booklist reviewer Rochman concluded that "what will hold grade-school kids is the truth of the friendship story and the tension of hiding to survive."
Polacco deals with issues of race in several of her books. In Chicken Sunday, neighborhood children help get Miss Eula the Easter bonnet she likes and in so doing win over a local Jewish shopkeeper. Carolyn Phelan wrote in Booklist that in Polacco's "moving picture book, the hatred sometimes engendered by racial and religious differences is overpowered by the love of people who recognize their common humanity." Calling Chicken Sunday "an authentic tale of childhood friendship," Dorothy Houlihan noted in School Library Journal that Polacco's tale "resonates with the veracity of a personal recollection and is replete with vivid visual and visceral images."
Polacco blends questions of race with another family tale that stands among her most highly regarded books. Pink and Say relates a poignant story set during the U.S. Civil War that was told by the author's great-great-great-grandfather on her father's side. In this book, fifteen-year-old Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), an Ohio boy left for dead in a Georgia battlefield, is rescued by gravedigger Pinkus Sylee (Pink), an African-American teen who is a fellow Union soldier. Pink drags Say to his home a few miles away. While the boy convalesces, he and Pink become friends and share their secrets: Pink can read—a knowledge forbidden to slaves—and wants to fight slavery, while Say admits that he is a deserter. Say also shook the hand of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, and this becomes a talismanic handshake between Pink and Say. Pink teaches Say to read, and his fervor against slavery inspires Say to rejoin his regiment. However, both boys are taken prisoners by the Confederates, who kill Pink's mother and send the friends to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Due to his skin color, Pink is hung a few hours after entering the prison, while Say is released several months later. As a reviewer noted in Publishers Weekly, Pink and Say "stands as a testament to [Pink's] life," and Polacco's "gripping story resonates with emotion as she details the chilling and horrible reverberations of war and social injustice." Praising the book's illustrations as "a spectacular achievement," a Kirkus Reviews critic added that Polacco tells her story "carefully and without melodrama so that it speaks for itself." Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Henry Mayer concluded that Polacco "has addressed the theme of interracial friendship in previous books with heartfelt sentiment, but Pink and Say has a resonance that these contemporary stories lack. It is rare to find a children's book that deals so richly, yet gently, with the sober themes of slavery and freedom, martyrdom, and historical memory."
Thank You, Mr. Falker is based heavily on Polacco's own life. In this story, ten-year-old Trisha yearns to read, but has been teased constantly by her classmates because she stumbles over words and numbers. Although she has won respect for her artistic talent, Trisha still hides the fact that she cannot read. Finally, her fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Falker, turns a sympathetic eye to the girl's difficulty. Using his own money, he pays a reading specialist to work with Trisha until she overcomes her problem. Rochman, writing in Booklist, noted in a review of Thank You, Mr. Falker that Polacco's young heroine "isn't idealized; we see her messy and desperate, poring over her books. This will encourage the child who feels like a failure and the teacher who cares."
The eponymous protagonist of Welcome Comfort, a lonely, overweight foster child, is taken under the wing—or rather in the sleigh—of a rather plump school custodian. Comfort has never known the joys of Christmas until the mysterious custodian and his wife initiate him. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly noted that "this warm blend of fantasy and reality delivers a satisfying surprise ending," and that Polacco's artwork "is even more vibrant than usual." Reviewing the same title in the Washington Post Book World, Michael Patrick Hearn called Welcome Comfort "as warm as a down comforter and told with the conviction and cadences of a tall tale."
Other tales that draw from Polacco's Midwest family traditions include When Lightning Comes in a Jar, Betty Doll, My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, Christmas Tapestry, and An Orange for Frankie. Two reunions of
extended family are the focus of When Lightning Comes from a Jar, as relatives come from all over Michigan to gossip, share food, and talk about the latest news, both in the early twentieth century and again, three generations later. In Betty Doll Polacco's sensitive graphite drawings bring to life the story of a beloved handmade doll that, cherished by its first owner, is eventually packed away, only to be discovered by future generations. A poignant Christmas Eve from generations past is the setting for An Orange for Frankie, which finds a young boy looking forward to waking up on Christmas morning to find the highly prized citrus perched on the family home's fireplace mantel. "With her usual narrative flair Polacco weaves a story of family remembrances and traditions," wrote Wanda Meyers-Hines in her School Library Journal review of When Lightning Comes in a Jar, while a Publishers Weekly contributor predicted that adult readers will "appreciate the [book's] … warm message of the importance of heritage." Similar praise was accorded the nostalgic holiday story Christmas Tapestry, which finds a boy and his minister father patching up a hole in the crumbling wall of their Detroit church with a wall-hanging that has unexpected tied to the past of an elderly friend. Reviewing the story, GraceAnne A. DeCandido wrote in Booklist that "Polacco is a master at intergenerational, interfaith stories that bring comfort and joy," and a Kirkus Reviews writer wrote that in Christmas Tapestry the author/illustrator "succeeds as always with her watercolor-and-pencil illustrations in creating unique, expressive characters."
In a family story with a twist, Polacco describes the experiences of two children who meet some interesting new neighbors in The Graves Family. The wife, Shalleaux Graves, kills every plant she touches and her Venus Fly trap gobbles up the hats of nearby ladies when she participates in a garden club tea, while husband Doug Graves distributes a hair restorative that causes its user to behave like the cats which serve as the concoction's secret ingredient. When it seems like the new family will never be accepted by the town, their spooky, blood-red house finds favor with a well-known interior decorator, spider webs and all. A trip to Lake Bleakmire, with its assorted creepy crawlies, is in store for both Doug and Shalleaux Graves, as well as readers of The Graves Family Goes Camping, until a pastry-loving, fire-breathing dragon cuts the couple's gruesome holiday short. Noting that Polacco's tale mixes "a little light horror" with "over-the-top hilarity," a Publishers Weekly reviewer added that in The Graves Family the author/illustrator "mines the theme of children nourished by unexpected friendships." Uncharacteristic of Polacco, The Graves Family "is lighter and less emotionally resonant than many of her other works," according to School Library Journal reviewer Rachel G. Payne, although Payne also noted that the author's "creative puns, and over-the-top descriptions" pair well with her "comic, cartoon" art.
Another imaginative tale by Polacco, Ginger and Petunia, introduces a pianist who teaches students in the home she shares with a pig named Petunia. When a solo performance required Ginger's absence, the pet sitter is a not-show, forcing the clever swine to masquerade as the fashion-conscious Ginger until the woman's return. Praising the "droll text and playfully hyperbolic art," a Publishers Weekly reviewer dubbed "Polacco's porcine protagonist" the star of an "endear[ing] and "lighthearted caper," while a Kirkus Reviews writer praised the author/illustrator's "vibrant signature artwork," which features "expressive cameo portraits" as well as "more expansive compositions that spill over from one page to the next."
Whether writing about inter-generational relationships, cross-cultural friendships, Russian witches, or Jewish quilts, Polacco is happily at home in her created worlds and makes such worlds accessible for her readers as well. As she noted in Firetalking, her autobiography, "I am lucky … so very lucky! I love my life. Can you imagine doing what you love every day? … My thoughts boil in my head. They catch the air and fly. The images and stories come back with fury and energy…. My heart sings whenever I am drawing."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Children's Literature Review, Volume 40, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1996, pp. 175-201.
Polacco, Patricia, Firetalking, Richard C. Owen (Katonah, NY), 1994.
Booklist, December 1, 1988, Denise M. Wilms, review of The Keeping Quilt, p. 654; March 15, 1992, Carolyn Phelan, review of Chicken Sunday, p. 1388; November 1, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of The Trees of the Dancing Goats, p. 509; May 1, 1998, Hazel Rochman, review of Thank You, Mr. Falker, p. 1522; November 15, 1998, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Mrs. Mack, p. 597; May 15, 1999, review of Luba and the Wren, p. 1700; April 4, 2000, Hazel Rochman, review of The Butterfly, p. 1479; August, 2000, Isabel Schon, review of The Keeping Quilt, p. 155; August, 2002, Julie Cummins, review of When Lightning Comes in a Jar, p. 1975; September 1, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Christmas Tapestry, p. 138; May 1, 2003, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of G Is for Goat, p. 1606; September 15, 2003, Kay Weisman, review of The Graves Family, p. 248; March 1, 2004, Linda Perkins, review of Oh, Look!, p. 1198; August, 2004, Lauren Peterson, review of John Philip Duck, p. 1944; December 1, 2004, Terry Glover, review of An Orange for Frankie, p. 662; May 15, 2005, Ilene Cooper, review of The Graves Family Goes Camping, p. 1666; September 15, 2005, Gillian Engberg, review of Emma Kate, p. 75; April 15, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare, p. 54.
Horn Book, March-April, 2004, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Oh, Look!, p. 174.
Grand Rapids Press, September 18, 2005, Maranda, interview with Polacco, p. J2.
Junior Bookshelf, June, 1988, Marcus Crouch, review of Rechenka's Eggs, p. 131.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1987, review of Meteor!, p. 557; April 15, 1993, p. 535; June 1, 1994, p. 779; September 15, 1994, review of Pink and Say, p. 1279; April 15, 1997, p. 647; May 1, 1999, p. 726; May 1, 2002, review of When Lighting Comes in a Jar, p. 665; November 1, 2002, review of Christmas Tapestry, p. 1624; April 15, 2003, review of G Is for Goat, p. 610; August 15, 2003, review of The Graves Family, p. 1077; February 1, 2004, review of Oh, Look!, p. 137; May 1, 2004, review of John Philip Duck, p. 446; November 1, 2004, review of An Orange for Frankie, p. 1052; January 15, 2005, review of Mommies Say Shhh!, p. 124; April 15, 2005, review of The Graves Family Goes Camping, p. 479; August 1, 2005, review of Emma Kate, p. 856; April 15, 2006, review of Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare, p. 414; July 1, 2006, review of Something about Hensley's, p. 68; April 1, 2007, review of Ginger and Petunia.
New York Times Book Review, April 3, 1988, Leonard Marcus, review of Rechenka's Eggs, p. 16; November 13, 1994, Henry Mayer, review of Pink and Say, p. 42; May 31, 1998, p. 40; December 19, 1999, p. 31; July 18, 1999, p. 24.
Publishers Weekly, April 10, 1987, review of Meteor!, p. 95; February 15, 1993, Shannon Maughan, interview with Polacco, pp. 179, 185; August 15, 1994, review of Pink and Say, p. 95; September 12, 1994, review of Tikvah Means Hope, p. 90; September 2, 1996, p. 130; September 30, 1996, p. 87; October 12, 1998, review of Mrs. Mack, p. 76, and My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother, p. 79; September 27, 1999, review of Welcome Comfort, p. 56; June 12, 2000, review of The Butterfly, p. 72; May 13, 2002, review of When Lighting Comes in a Jar, p. 70; March 29, 2004, review of Oh, Look!, p. 61; September 27, 2004, review of An Orange for Frankie, p. 63; August 8, 2005, review of Emma Kate, p. 232; July 5, 2004, review of John Philip Duck, p. 56; February 7, 2005, review of Mommies Say Shhh!, p. 58; April 9, 2007, review of Ginger and Petunia, p. 52.
School Library Journal, October, 1988, Lee Bock, review of The Keeping Quilt, p. 136; May, 1992, Dorothy Houlihan, review of Chicken Sunday, p. 92; August, 1994, Pamela K. Bomboy, review of Firetalking, p. 150; November, 1996, review of The Trees and theDancing Goat, pp. 90-91; December, 1998, Christy Norris Blanchette, review of Mrs. Mack, p. 89; June, 1999, review of Meteor!, p. 119; May, 2000, Wendy Lukehart, review of The Butterfly, p. 151; June, 2002, Wanda Meyers-Hines, review of When Lighting Comes in a Jar, p. 108; October, 2002, Virginia Walter, review of Christmas Tapestry, p. 62; May, 2003, Nancy Call, review of G Is for Goat, p. 128; August 4, 2003, review of The Graves Family, p. 79; September, 2003, Rachel G. Payne, review of The Graves Family, p. 187; February, 2004, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, review of Oh, Look!, p. 121; June, 2004, Grace Oliff, review of John Philip Duck, p. 116; March, 2005, Rachel G. Payne, review of Mommies Say Shhh!, p. 186; June, 2005, Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, review of The Graves Family Goes Camping, p. 124; November, 2005, Kristine M. Casper, review of Emma Kate, p. 103; May, 2006, Eve Ottenberg Stone, review of Rotten Richie and the Ultimate Dare, p. 97; August, 2006, Kathleene Pavin, review of Something about Hensley's, p. 94.
Times Educational Supplement, March 25, 1988, Shaun Traynor, review of Rechenka's Eggs, p. 31.
Washington Post Book World, December 12, 1999, Michael Patrick Hearn, "Picturing the Holidays," p. 15.
Patricia Polacco Web site,http://www.patriciapolacco.com (June 1, 2007).
Drawing with Patricia Polacco (short film), Art'SCool, 2005.