Patricia Polacco

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Patricia Polacco
Born (1944-07-11) July 11, 1944 (age 69)
Lansing, Michigan
Occupation Author, Illustrator
Nationality American

Patricia Barber Polacco (born July 11, 1944, Lansing, Michigan) is the author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children.

She struggled in school because she was unable to read until age 14 due to dyslexia; she found relief by expressing herself through art. Polacco endured teasing and hid her disability until a schoolteacher recognized that she could not read and began to help her. Her book Thank You, Mr. Falker is Polacco's retelling of this encounter and its outcome.

Early years[edit]

Her family is of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other.[1][2] The early years of Polacco's childhood were spent at her grandmother's farm in Union City, Michigan, the setting for many of her published stories. She now resides on another farm in Union City, originally called The Plantation.[3] Although Polacco's grandmother died in 1949, when Polacco was only 5, "Babushka" or grandmother in Russian, appears in several of Polacco's books.[4]

After her grandmother's death, the family moved to Coral Gables, Florida, and then three years later to Oakland, California. Polacco's parents had divorced when she was three, and she and her brother therefore spent their early life living in two places: school years with their mother in the bustling environment of Oakland, California, and summers with their father and his parents on a farm in Michigan. Polacco was discouraged in school and did not learn to read until she was nearly fourteen. In junior high school, one of her teachers finally discovered that dyslexia was the reason for her lack of confidence. In high school, she became friends with Frank Oz. Polacco wrote "When Lightning Comes in a Jar" as a tribute to her babushka, and to her Detroit Tiger cousin Billy. Patricia Polacco attended Ohio State University and earned a Master's Degree in Fine Arts and a Ph.D. in Art History. Patricia Polacco did not start writing and illustrating her first children's book until she was 41 years old.[4]

Books[edit]

Other media[edit]

  • Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair. Video, Color, 23 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1996)
  • Babushka's Doll. Audio Cassette (New York: Scholastic, 1995)
  • The Butterfly. Audio Cassette (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1996)
  • The Butterfly. Video, Color, 30 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1996)
  • Chicken Sunday. Audio Cassette (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1992)
  • Chicken Sunday. Video, Color, 14 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1992)
  • The Keeping Quilt. Video, Color, 13 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1993)
  • Meteor! Audio Cassette (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1999)
  • Meteor! Video, Color, 13 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1999)
  • Mrs. Katz and Tush. Video, Color, 29 minutes (Lincoln, NB: Great Plains National, 1993)
  • Patricia Polacco: Dream Keeper. Video, Color, 23 Minutes (New York: Philomel, 1996)
  • Parents, Kids & Books: The Joys of Reading Together. Video, Color, 30 Minutes (Dallas, TX: Kera Productions, 1993)
  • Pink and Say. Audio Cassette (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1996)
  • Pink and Say. Video, Color, 28 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1996)
  • Rechenka’s Eggs. Audio Cassette (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1991)
  • Rechenka’s Eggs. Video, Color, 11 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1991)
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker. Audio Cassette (St. Petersburg, FL: Spoken Arts, 1999)
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker. Video, Color, 23 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1999)
  • Thunder Cake. Video, Color, 13 minutes (New Rochelle, NY: Spoken Arts, 1990)
  • The Lemonaid club. book, 2007

Literary Awards[edit]

  • 1988 Sydney Taylor Book Award for The Keeping Quilt
  • 1989 International Reading Association Award for Rechenka’s Eggs
  • March 10, 1990 Santa Clara Reading Council
  • Author’s Hall of Fame
  • Commonwealth Club of California Recognition of Excellence for
1990 Babushka’s Doll
1992 Chicken Sunday (Nov. 14th 1992 declared Chicken Sunday)
  • 1992 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Golden Kite Award for Illustration for Chicken Sunday
  • 1992 Boston Area Educators for Social Responsibility
  • Children’s Literature and Social Responsibility Award
  • Nov. 9th 1993 Jane Adams Peace Assoc. and Women’s Intl. League for Peace and Freedom Awards
  • Honor Award for Mrs. Katz and Tush for its effective contribution to peace and social justice.
  • Parent’s Choice Honors
1991 Some Birthday
1997 Video/Dream Keeper
1998 Thank You, Mr. Falker
  • 1996 North Dakota Library Association Children’s Book Award for My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother
  • 1996 Jo Osborne Award for Humor in Children’s Literature
  • 1997 Missouri Association of School Librarians
  • Show Me Readers Award for My Rotten Red Headed Older Brother
  • 1997 West Virginia Children’s Book Award for Pink and Say
  • 1998 Mid-South Independent Booksellers for Children Humpty Dumpty Award
  • 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award for The Blessing Cup[5]

Articles written about Polacco[edit]

  • Vandergrift, Kay E. "Peacocks, Dreams, Quilts, and Honey: Patricia Polacco, A Woman's Voice of Remembrance," In Ways of Knowing: Literature and the Intellectual Life of Children. Ed. By Kay E. Vandergrift. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 1996, pp. 259–288.
  • Vandergrift, Kay E. "Patricia Polacco," in Twentieth-Century Children's Writers. ed. by Laura Berger. 4th ed. Detroit: St. James, 1995. 759–760.
  • Author Profile & Book Reviews
  • Interview in Time for Kids

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patricia Polacco. wsra.org
  2. ^ http://www.childrenslit.com/childrenslit/mai_polacco_patricia.html The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Patricia Polacco
  3. ^ The Polacco Farm. patriciapolacco.com
  4. ^ a b Who Am I?. patriciapolacco.com
  5. ^ 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced by AJL, January 21, 2014