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  • 1. Patricia Polacco An Author Study
    Laura Bissey
    Final Exam
    LLLS5533: Selecting Literature and Materials for Children, Fall 2009
  • 2. Life: The Early YearsBorn: July 11, 1944 Lansing, MichiganParents: William and Mary Ellen Barber (Dad was Irish, Mom was Russian/Ukranian)
    Age 3 – Parents divorced. Lived with mom and brother Richard on Union City, MI grandparents’ farm. Grandmother was known as Babushka.
    Age 5-Babushka passed away. Moved to Coral Gables,FL then Oakland, CA.
  • 3. Early Years Continued
    Living on the farm “was the most magical time of my life”.
    Polacco listened to her grandparents tell stories by the fire and received her story telling inspiration from her family, especially her Babushka and other grandparents.
    Age 14-Diagonosed with dyslexia.
    Loved to rock in rocking chairs
    to feel better.
  • 4. Adult – Present Day
    Married 1962. Had children Traci and Steven
    Divorced, remarried 1979 to Enzo Mario Polacco, a chef and cooking instructor
    Started writing children’s books at age 41.
    1987, Sold her first book, Meteor!
    Today- Lives in
    Union City, MI
    On Meteor Ridge
    Hobbies/Interests: Travel,
    running, cats, painting,
    sculpture, egg art.
  • 5. Education
    Ohio State University
    California College of Arts and Crafts
    Morash University (Melbourne, Australia)
    Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (received PhD. in Art History)
    Also studied in England, France,
    and Russia
    For a while she restored
    ancient art for Museums.
  • 6. Author At Work
    First makes a dummy or blueprint
    of her book.
    Then sends it to Art Director for
    changes. Drawings are 25% larger
    than final presentation.
    Traces then colors in using
    acrylic paint, No. 2,6B pencils,
    and oil pastels. Sometimes
    pastes actual photos of people
    in story. (photos from
  • 7. Author's Works Relates to Life
    In Thank You, Mr. Falker,
    Patricia, or “Trisha”, is
    a girl who does not know
    how to read. She is teased
    by her classmates and feels
    dumb. She loves to draw.
    Finally her fifth-grade
    teacher realizes she has
    dyslexia and teaches
    her how to read.
  • 8. Author Work Continued
    In My Rotten Redheaded
    Older Brother, Polacco
    writes about her brother
    Richard. She tries to find
    something that she can do
    better than he can. When
    she falls from a merry-go-
    round, he is the one to get
    the doctor for her.
  • 9. Author's Work Continued
    Betty Doll is a story
    about a letter written by
    Polacco’smother to her
    telling her about a rag doll
    made by her mother. The
    doll is a comfort to children
    and grandchildren in future
    years. Mary Ellen, Polacco’s
    mother believes it saved
    her life when she was in a snow storm.
  • 10. Author's Work Continued
    Something About Hensley’s
    is about Polacco’s favorite store
    and its owner John Sacrant. In
    this story, Mr. Sacrant has the
    answer for everyone’s needs at
    his store. He helps Molly, Kate,
    and their mother get back on
    their feet again and helps save
    Molly from an asthma attack.
  • 11. Other Works
    Other Books That Are From Polacco’s Life.
  • 12. Author's Website
  • 13. References
    PATRICIA POLACCO .COM. (n.d.). PATRICIA POLACCO .COM. Retrieved December 7, 2009, from
    PATRICIA POLACCO PAGE. (n.d.). SC&I, Rutgers University - Home. Retrieved December 7, 2009, from
    Polacco, P. (1998). The Keeping Quilt [KEEPING QUILT ANNIV/E]. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
    Polacco, P. (1995). Babushka's Doll. New York: Aladdin.
    Polacco, P. (1994). Firetalking (Meet the Author). Katonah, NY: R.C. Owen.
    Polacco, P. (1996). Meteor!. New York: Putnam Juvenile.
    Polacco, P. (1994). My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother. Danbury, Connecticut: Scholastics Inc..
    Polacco, P. (2006). Something About Hensley's. New York: Penguin Group USA.
    Polacco, P. (2002). When Lightning Comes in a Jar. New York: Penguin Group USA.
    Titlewave: Home. (n.d.). TITLEWAVE | Follett Library Resources. Retrieved December 7, 2009, from
    (2004). Betty Doll. New York City: Puffin.
    (2007). Something About the Author Volume 180: Facts and Pictures About Authors and Illustrators of Books for Young People (Something About the Author). New York: Gale Cengage.
    (2001). Thank You, Mr. Falker. New York: Philomel.