Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Gifts of the Heart - Patricia Polacco

Illustrated  by the author
2013, Putnam Juvenile
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating: 4.13 (39 ratings)
My rating: 3/a very nice story
Endpapers: Rust
Illustrations: Wonderful Patricia Polacco's, which need no further description, do they?
Title page: The page BEFORE the title page shows a front vies of the two children as they look into a store window.  There is also the first page of text.  When you turn the page to the title page, you see a full two-page spread of the back of the children's heads as they look into the shop, with snowflakes falling onto their heads.

1st line/s:  "Richie and I huddled together and pressed our faces into the cold glass of the Hudson's store window.  Everywhere we looked was a dazzling array of wondrous toys for Christmas.  Then my eyes fell on the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen: a delicate ballerina doll, her hair drawn up in a nest of perfect curls held there by a halo of tiny blue flowers.  Her slippers were gold, like polished stars.  How I longed to have her!"

My comments:  A new Patricia Polacco!  As much as I liked it, the story didn't "enchant" me as hers usually do.  That's not to say I didn't like it, but it didn't grab me and yell "hurrah".

Goodreads:  Beloved author-illustrator Patricia Polacco’s holiday story is a wonderful ode to the magic of family, Christmas, and giving the right kind of gifts—gifts filled with love.  Richie and Trisha want to buy Christmas gifts for their family, but they don't have enough money. Enter Kay Lamity, a new housekeeper . . . but is that all she is? She comes into their lives like a whirlwind, brimming with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Kay not only straightens them out when it comes to whether or not Santa Claus is real, she teaches them something about gifts: the just-good-enough kind that come from the pocketbook and the unforgettable kind that come from the heart. Because of Kay, Trisha and Richie—and the family—have a Christmas morning they will never forget.  Celebrating the joy of homemade gifts, Patricia Polacco introduces readers to a new character who is truly a force of nature in this story reminiscent of Christmas Tapestry and An Orange for Frankie. This is a magical Christmas story the author swears is true, right down to the sleigh tracks on the farmhouse roof!

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