Palace of books

Patricia Polacco

Book - 2023

At the public library in her new town, Patricia meets Mrs. Creavy, an encouraging librarian who introduces Patricia to the books of John James Audubon and helps her become the first member of the Audubon Bird Club of Freemont Elementary.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Polacco Checked In
Picture books
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2023.
First edition
Item Description
"A Paula Wiseman Book."
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades 2-3.
Main Author
Patricia Polacco (author)
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Polacco offers gratitude for her childhood public library in this earnest autobiographical picture book tribute. When a white-presenting first grader leaves the family farm for Battle Creek, Mich., she finds it's not easy being the new kid. But the artistic protagonist, a bird-lover who struggles to read, finds refuge within the local library's art books, among them the paintings of John James Audubon ("I had never seen anything more beautiful than this!"). With the help of an affectionate librarian, the child finds a way to share her love of birds with her classmates, mostly portrayed as pale-skinned, leading to the class receiving memberships to the Audubon bird club. In exuberant pencil, marker, and acrylic artwork, Polacco packs a lot of detail into this lengthy, nostalgic tale of a library as a kind of home. Ages 4--8. (Mar.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Kirkus Book Review

In this tale based on one of Polacco's childhood experiences, a kind librarian encourages a girl's interests. After the death of Trsha's grandmother, her grandfather sells the family farm. Trisha's mother moves her and her brother from the country to a converted coach house rental in Battle Creek, Michigan, until the next school year, when they are set to move to California. At school, Trisha is a little bit of an odd duck with her impressive bird knowledge, and she struggles with reading--these tensions are only barely touched on, though. Librarian Mrs. Creavy nurtures Trisha's interest in birds by introducing her to John James Audubon's art. Trisha's bird drawings impress her classmates enough that they pick a bird theme for their classroom's open house. Mrs. Creavy also provides the class with tickets for a nearby bird sanctuary, so Trisha can further share her avian adoration--her peers join her in feathered fine art creations, prompting Mrs. Creavy to bring in "the Michigan state chairman of the Audubon bird clubs of America" for the founding of their school's chapter, with Trisha the first member. The story is sweet but slightly more geared to adult sensibilities than children's, and it is a touch narratively unbalanced--where it shines the most is in the juxtaposition between the child artists' charming works and the author/illustrator's bright, exquisite birds. Most characters, including Trisha and her family, present White. (This book was reviewed digitally.) A somewhat self-indulgent, adult-friendly reminiscence elevated by beautiful art. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.