Michigan Monday: Patricia Polacco

To continue the theme of the Sunday Classic review posted yesterday, today’s Michigan author, the prolific and gifted Patricia Polacco, also writes – and illustrates – books for children. I met her in the mid 1990’s when she signed copies of her book Thunder Cake at the big box bookseller for whom I worked at the time.  She was warm, kind, and forthcoming with her thoughts on reading to children.  Ms. Polacco signed a copy of Thunder Cake for my son; it is a story meant to soothe a child’s fear of thunderstorms and if memory serves me correctly, there is an actual recipe for Thunder Cake in the book, along with such whimsical illustrations.  Meeting Ms. Polacco was one of my favorite author interactions, and my son and I spent lots of time reading that book. (In case you are reading this and happen to be my son, I doubt you remember; you were very young. But I promise you liked the book, Sweetie.)

Patricia Polacco is of Russian, Georgian, Ukrainian-Jewish, and Irish descent, and in many of her books she honors her grandmother, to whom she refers as her Babushka. You would do well, the next time you are visiting your favorite bookseller (which will be soon, God willing), to ask to see her titles. You can read more about her HERE, HERE (her personal web site; she is extremely accessible), and HERE. She was born in Lansing and currently lives in Union City MI where she has spent much of her life.

I won’t address all of Ms. Polacco’s 100+ books, but Thunder Cake – when reading Thunder Cake, you should definitely wait until a thunderstorm is on the way, and either have the ingredients for the cake in your pantry or pull out a purchased chocolate cake to have with Russian tea as the storm approaches. That advice was given to me by the author and now I’m passing it on to you.

Be safe, well, and happy.

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