LIVINGSTON, NJ Patricia Polacco, an award-winning author of many children’s picture books, visited Collins Elementary School on April 7, bringing with her a red suitcase full of the things that have inspired her stories.
There was a piece of the meteorite that fell on her family’s farm and holds power for granting wishes, as well as a replica of the Keeping Quilt created from a basket of old clothes, Anna’s babushka, Uncle Vladimir’s shirt, Aunt Havalah’s nightdress, and an apron of Aunt Natasha, passed along from mother to daughter for almost a century.
She encouraged the children to make a wish on the meteorite and with a nod to her great, great grandfather and Civil War story of Pink and Say, to touch her hand—the hand that has touched the hand, that has touched the hand of Abraham Lincoln.
Those family memories are woven into the words and drawings of the prolific storyteller. Her presentation at Collins stitched together funny stories about family with an emotional remembrance of the teacher who finally recognized her learning disability and helped her understand her potential.
“We are all gifted,” said Polacco, who struggled in school unable to read until age 14 due to dyslexia. “The dilemma is we don’t open our gifts at the same time.”
See a slide show of photos of the day by clicking HERE.
To see a full list of the author’s books, click HERE.