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Author: Polacco, Patricia
A tapestry that is being used to cover a hole in a church wall at Christmas brings together an elderly couple who were separated during World War II.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.20
Points: .5 Quiz: 63612
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 34143
|Accelerated Reader Disk:|
Let's Celebrate!, Disk: N-22
Librarians' Picks, Lower Grades 2002, Disk: LP-04
|Reading Counts Disk:|
Patricia Polacco Collection, Disk: I-923-JJ
Bulletin for the Center... - 10/01/2002 Although Jonathan Weeks’ father insists that everything happens for good reason, the boy can see no sense at all in their transfer from their well-appointed, well-run ministry in Tennessee to this rundown church and congregation in Detroit. Little by little, Reverend Weeks’ talent for reviving a parish brings his church back to life, and things should be in pretty good shape for Christmas services, but a record-breaking storm insinuates itself through the aging roof and behind the plaster, and their hard work is upstaged by a gaping hole in the wall. On a trip into the city, father and son find an antique embroidered cloth to cover the hole, and also pick up an elderly woman who could use a ride. She recognizes the cloth as her own chuppah, made for her wedding in happier days before she and her young husband were separated in a Nazi death camp. She’s pleased to leave her handiwork gracing the church, and there it hangs until it’s recognized again by the plasterer who comes to mend the wall. Clearly this was made by his bride, lost to him years before. The couple is reunited, and Jonathan admits the wisdom of his father’s life view. Polacco resets in Michigan a sort of devotional urban legend that has been diffused over several decades via sermons. Although the story is touching, even powerful, her telling occasionally slips into mawkishness, and Jonathan’s incessant whining would try the patience of a better man than his pious father. Likewise, this is not Polacco’s finest hour with pencil and brush; muddy grays dominate, and visages are emotionally overwrought. Still, misty eyes are surely forgiven (perhaps even expected) at Christmas, and this is guaranteed to bring on sniffles and smiles. - Copyright 2002 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2002 K-Gr 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 Cahners Business Information. - Copyright 2002 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2002 Polacco is a master at intergenerational, interfaith stories that bring comfort and joy, and this one based on homilies she had heard widely separated in time and place is no exception. Jonathan must adjust when his preacher father moves the family to Detroit. After lots of work, the church is almost ready for Christmas, but then ice damage gouges a hole in a church wall. Father and son find a beautifully embroidered hanging and buy it with the last of their money; as they wait in the snow for the bus, an old woman offers them tea from her thermos. When they finally get to the parsonage, she is astonished to find the tapestry is one she had made as a chuppah for her wedding in Germany, before she was separated from her new husband who was lost in the war. The plasterer, who comes to fix the hole, also recognizes the hanging, and delighted audiences will soon figure out his identity. Christian and Jewish holiday celebrations intermingle with the message that nothing in the universe is random. The tender colors and gestures in the illustrations echo the text to make a satisfying whole. - Copyright 2002 Booklist.