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Christmas Tapestry Paperback – September 11, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Polacco's (The Keeping Quilt) knack for spinning seemingly disparate characters and plot elements into personal yarns works to great effect in this holiday picture book, based on a "true story" told as a church homily. Jonathan resents his Baptist preacher father's reassignment from Memphis to a dilapidated church in Detroit, and he's dismayed when damage from a blizzard ruins months of planning to restore the building in time for Christmas Eve services. But the elegant-looking, bargain-priced tapestry he and his dad purchase to cover the damage miraculously brings about the reunion of an elderly Jewish couple separated decades earlier during the Holocaust. Though the tale slows in spots, Polacco's signature illustrations of swirling snow, the fine tapestry and numerous love-filled faces invite readers to linger. All ages.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Jonathan has made a good adjustment to life in Michigan after his father takes over as the pastor of a rundown Baptist church. The whole family has worked hard to renovate the building and restore the congregation. The boy becomes distraught, however, when a snowstorm causes a leak and ruins the wall behind the altar just before Christmas. In a series of events that would strain belief in anything other than a holiday story, he and his father find a tapestry to cover the wall and bring about a reunion between two Holocaust survivors who had used the hand-stitched cloth as their wedding canopy. An author's note cites two different Christian ministers as the source of this sentimental story. It is well suited to Polacco's signature theme of ecumenical tolerance and illustrated with her familiar pencil-and-watercolor artwork.-V. W.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 490 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (September 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142411655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142411650
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.2 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,558 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"There are those who say there is no balance in the universe and that all things happen randomly...without purpose. Take, for instance, one Jonathan Jefferson Weeks. He was most upset that his family came all the way from Memphis, Tennessee, when his father accepted the position of pastor at the New Baptist in Detroit. Even though their new home was on the outskirts...it was still Detroit! Nothing like Tennessee! What possible good reason could there be for leaving home and coming here?" Jonathan and his family work all summer and fall to get the church cleaned up and repaired so that it will be perfect for Christmas. But as they complete their work, ice damages the sacristy wall and plaster falls, leaving a big ugly hole. Jonathan is devastated. He just doesn't understand God's plan. First they have to leave their home and come to Detroit, and now the church is ruined after all their hard work, right before Christmas services. What else could happen? Because of the frigid cold, the car won't start the next morning, and Jonathan and his father have to take the bus into the city to pick up their holiday decorations. As they pass an old shop, Jonathan spies the most beautiful piece of cloth he's ever seen, all gold and red, perfect for covering the ugly hole in the wall. They have very little money left, but the shopkeeper says it's enough to buy the cloth. While waiting at the bus stop to go back home, father and son, with packages and the treasured Christmas tapestry, meet a lonely old woman who shares her hot tea and cookies, and tells them her sad story of love and loss..... Based on an often told homily, master storyteller, Patricia Polacco, has woven a heartwarming tale that celebrates a real, modern day Christmas miracle.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
My 5-year-old daughter and I just picked this up by chance at the library this week and we were totally unprepared for its incredible message. So many children's books are predictable or just plain rote. This was not! I loved the messages about trusting in God's universal plan and the TRUE meaning of the season. We need to add this one to our own Christmas library!
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By A Customer on December 25, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Each year I carefully select one or two Christmas stories to add to our family library. After looking through many many books this one stood out heads and tales above the rest. Beautiful illustrations and a wonderful unexpected ending make this a tender heartwarming Christmas story. A tear jerker to be sure, but the best stories often are. A must read.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I read this story to my students every year, I can never get through it without choking up. Elementary through high school, all students are deeply touched by this tale. The timeless message of love portrayed by all the characters in this book is one you will never forget. It's a wonderful read-aloud, and a useful segue into discussions about the true meaning of Christmas and Hannukah.
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Format: Paperback
I ran across this remarkable book while searching for an appropriate Christmas book for my 8-year-old's school book report. It is not only well written, but it conveys a message of God's purpose and plan for our lives that I was delighted to share with my son. It also illustrates the role of divine providence in the lives of the Christian characters as well as the Jewish ones without compromising the beliefs of either faith. Additionally, it is a useful tool for talking about the holocaust with young people. I do not think, as another reviewer suggests, that this is too graphic for young readers. It is important for young people to learn about the evil that mankind is capable of perpetrating and to understand something about this terrible chapter in human history. Most importantly, it helps children to understand that although suffering exists in the world, there is a loving God who cares for each of us. I highly recommend "Christmas Tapestry" to anyone looking for a book that will not only touch your heart, but also facilitate a healthy spiritual discussion with your child.
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Format: Hardcover
This story is a wonderful story anytime of year. This may be my all time favorite Patricia Polacco story. It will touch your heart and leave you with a feeling of optimism and joy.
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By A Customer on April 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a very special Christmas story. It is timeless in it's message of hope and caring. It will be a story to read every Christimas with your family.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Christmas Tapestry will warm the cockles of your heart, soul, and mind. I'm not sure if it's based on a true story or not, but it sure could be. It appealed to me, as a Christian, (as it would to a Jewish person) because it shows that God is in control, and He works out His purposes, even when we don't understand what's going on.

If you like these heart-tuggers, also try The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
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