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The Art of Miss Chew

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After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story s After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child's life - and celebrates the power of art itself.


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After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story s After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child's life - and celebrates the power of art itself.

30 review for The Art of Miss Chew

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    Oh, when the inside front and back covers and book dedication already had me close to crying, I knew this was going to be one of the Patricia Polacco books where I’d be sobbing my eyes out, or feeling like doing so, and those are the books by her that are my favorites. And this one is now among my favorite books by one of my favorite picture book authors. Thanks so much to Abigail I own a copy (I hope Abigail read this before she sent it, and if not luckily has another “great Polacco book” left t Oh, when the inside front and back covers and book dedication already had me close to crying, I knew this was going to be one of the Patricia Polacco books where I’d be sobbing my eyes out, or feeling like doing so, and those are the books by her that are my favorites. And this one is now among my favorite books by one of my favorite picture book authors. Thanks so much to Abigail I own a copy (I hope Abigail read this before she sent it, and if not luckily has another “great Polacco book” left to read) and I was able to read this in advance of official publication. I am so grateful. What a great present! (And the term present has meaning in the book too.) Very interesting to me, I’m not normally a huge fan of Polacco’s art by itself, but enjoy it in relation to her stories. In this book, about her journey as an artist, and containing pictures of drawings and a painting reflecting work she did as a young person, in addition to the story’s paintings, I enjoyed the artwork in this book more than in any other Polacco book, and I’ve now read all her books. I really liked all the artwork in this book. I particularly liked the drawing of her cat within the painting of her cat, but I liked the art on all the pages. The story is one of Polacco’s best, and as is typical is autobiographical, and as usual had me near tears. Her account shows the importance of art, of the arts being taught in schools, and how both good and bad teachers can have a lifelong influence on children. The book’s description field has an excellent summary of the story so I feel no need to repeat any of that, but I’ll say it can’t quite capture the wonderful emotional tone Polacco manages to create in her telling. Love the story, love the art, and appreciate the author-illustrator sharing her life’s experiences with today’s children. In addition to pure enjoyment derived from reading/viewing this book, I can see it (and many of Polacco’s other books) being emotionally and practically helpful to so many readers. This book can and should (in my opinion) be enjoyed by everybody but I particularly recommend it to all teachers and school administrators, reading specialists, art teachers, aspiring artists and established artists, kids who struggle with reading or learning differences, and writers who are thinking of writing autobiographies and biographies for children. It’s hard to pick a reading age range for this book. Although it is wonderfully and fully illustrated, it is text heavy. I’d say for read aloud age 5 and up is okay, through age 11, and for independent reading I’d say (depending on the person) ages 8 or 9 through 13 and then all the way up. I’m way into adulthood years and I loved it. I’d like to see this book in every K-8 school library. I definitely recommend it to all the usual suspects, all my Goodreads’ friends who enjoy children’s picture books. Of all living authors who are not on Goodreads, Polacco is the one I'd most like to see become a Goodreads' author member.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ronyell

    Now, I have been reading many of Patricia Polacco’s books over the years and even though I continued to be mesmerized by her childhood stories, I have always wondered how Patricia Polacco became such a prolific artist, as well as being an effective storyteller. So, when I got around to reading one of Patricia Polacco’s newer books “The Art of Miss Chew,” I finally found out how Patricia Polacco became such a talented artist! After Trisha spent the summer with her grandmother who was a talented ar Now, I have been reading many of Patricia Polacco’s books over the years and even though I continued to be mesmerized by her childhood stories, I have always wondered how Patricia Polacco became such a prolific artist, as well as being an effective storyteller. So, when I got around to reading one of Patricia Polacco’s newer books “The Art of Miss Chew,” I finally found out how Patricia Polacco became such a talented artist! After Trisha spent the summer with her grandmother who was a talented artist, Trisha wanted to become an artist herself. Unfortunately, her school does not have an art class that Trisha could participate in until her Irish teacher Mr. Donovan, suggested that Trisha could join a special art class at the high school that is being taught by none other than Miss Chew! Trisha loved having Miss Chew as her art teacher, as Miss Chew helped Trisha learn the language of art and how she could see the objects she draws in a whole new light. Unfortunately, a tragic day happened when Mr. Donovan’s father passed away and Mr. Donovan had to attend his father’s funeral, leaving his students in the care of a substitute teacher named Mrs. Spaulding. Mrs. Spaulding was often cruel towards Trisha as she would not give Trisha enough time to work on her tests, since Trisha was a much slower learner than the other students; and Mrs. Spaulding even threatened to have Trisha thrown out of Miss Chew’s art class since she believed that the art class was distracting Trisha from her studies. Can Trisha and Miss Chew convince the student board that Trisha should stay in art class? Read this book to find out! What I always loved about Patricia Polacco’s works is that her books allow the readers to take a look at her childhood and be inspired by the various teachers that helped her throughout her school life. I always loved the emotional touches that Patricia Polacco brings to her work as you truly feel her sorrow as she struggles through school due to her learning disability and it was great that she had teachers that really cared about her and try their hardest to help Trisha pass her classes. As soon as I picked up this book, I knew that I was going to automatically fall in love with both Miss Chew and Mr. Donovan! Even though Mr. Donovan’s name was not in the title of this book, I loved the fact that Trisha had another teacher who was supportive of her and the fact that he was from Ireland and loved his father dearly really made me love his character! But let us talk about the true star of this book and that is Miss Chew herself, as she was clearly the one who inspired Trisha to fulfill her lifelong dream to become an artist! I loved the fact that Miss Chew showed Trisha how to look at the objects she draws in a different light and I also loved the way that she continues to encourage Trisha to follow her dreams of becoming an artist no matter how impossible the odds may be. I really loved the fact that both Mr. Donovan and Miss Chew were teachers that came from foreign countries (Mr. Donovan came from Ireland and Miss Chew came from China) as it brought a whole new perspective of the teaching experience for young children. Patricia Polacco’s artwork is magnificent as the characters look so realistic and gorgeous and I loved the fact that we have a book in Patricia Polacco’s works that detailed her inspiration in becoming an artist! Overall, “The Art of Miss Chew” is a truly beautiful and touching book about the power of art and the importance of supporting students who are struggling in school. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the length of the book might be a bit difficult for some smaller children. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  3. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Marcos

    This is a review from my 7 year old daughter who loves art. When she was done reading this book she said that it was awesome! Well, that equates to a 5 star in my book. She loved the illustrations and reading about the author's past. Just to confirm it was based on a true story, she asked me after she read it. She found it fascinating that Polacco wasn't a very good reader but went on to write and illustrate books. I personally had a teacher who made me feel special and inspired me to do better. This is a review from my 7 year old daughter who loves art. When she was done reading this book she said that it was awesome! Well, that equates to a 5 star in my book. She loved the illustrations and reading about the author's past. Just to confirm it was based on a true story, she asked me after she read it. She found it fascinating that Polacco wasn't a very good reader but went on to write and illustrate books. I personally had a teacher who made me feel special and inspired me to do better. I can only hope my daughter comes across teachers like this. This was a perfect read for my daughter because she has stated that she wants her own art museum and that she would put some of her work in it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly H. (Maybedog)

    This is a good solid story about giving a girl a chance to realize her potential and overcome obstacles. Polacco had a reading learning disability in the 60's and ran into trouble getting support for it at one point. There also was no art instruction available in her middle school at all. How things have changed! Even with a depletion in money for the arts, I don't know any middle school that doesn't even have a very basic art curriculum. The illustrations are happy and Polacco does a good job of This is a good solid story about giving a girl a chance to realize her potential and overcome obstacles. Polacco had a reading learning disability in the 60's and ran into trouble getting support for it at one point. There also was no art instruction available in her middle school at all. How things have changed! Even with a depletion in money for the arts, I don't know any middle school that doesn't even have a very basic art curriculum. The illustrations are happy and Polacco does a good job of relaying the feelings of the characters through their expressions. I don't think she is as good with body language but it's not too bad. But there are a lot of things I found not as good about this book. First of all, I don't like how black and white it is. Two good teachers were amazing and always encouraged her and even when they did something wrong it was still great. For example, the art teacher called her Theresa from day one and never stopped. Most people would have a problem with this, especially an adolescent, but Polacco remembers this fondly. The bad teacher, is horrible, evil even, because she is elderly and from a very different educational era and doesn't understand learning disabilities and how to accomodate them. There is no acknowledgement of this. In fact, at one point Polacco says that in a school meeting the woman scoffed and then proceeded to read an awful lot into that one noise, saying "as if she" and "maybe even." That feels very vindictive to me. This woman is so punished she is sent out of the school and never able to even be a substitute there again for any class. (How would Polacco, a middle-schooler, know that?) I'm also not as fond of Polacco's illustrations as others are. I think they are competent but I am not overwhelmed. I don't like that she sketches them out first and then watercolors them in. This is just a style thing but I think she makes too many sketch strokes so it looks messy. I also think her perspective is off. At one point the art teacher and the girl are in front of an easel and both, including their feet, are at such an angle they look like they are falling over. In another place, a person's body parts aren't in proportion and the angles of the people in the picture don't mesh with the furniture and with gravity. There were hands that were just not drawn well too. I feel she just hurried it along like she had a deadline to meet. She is obviously capable. The flyleaves have examples of her drawings that are much more competent although nothing strikes me as particularly more advanced than a really good art 101 student. So, 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 because of the black and white thinking.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Outstanding. Every aspiring artist (child and adult!) should own this book. If you can read the last page without breaking out in blubbering tears, your canvas is tougher than mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Another absolutely wonderful by Patricia Polacco! In this book, Polacco recounts the time in her life when her art teacher, Miss Chew, not only helps her to "first see...then draw" and truly gain an appreciation for the things around her and use them as inspirations for her drawings and paintings. Miss Chew also recognizes how Patricia's amazing ability to draw also attributes to her problems in reading. Miss Chew not only inspires Patricia to become the illustrator she is today, but helps her su Another absolutely wonderful by Patricia Polacco! In this book, Polacco recounts the time in her life when her art teacher, Miss Chew, not only helps her to "first see...then draw" and truly gain an appreciation for the things around her and use them as inspirations for her drawings and paintings. Miss Chew also recognizes how Patricia's amazing ability to draw also attributes to her problems in reading. Miss Chew not only inspires Patricia to become the illustrator she is today, but helps her succeed in school. Polacco's illustrations in this book are classic Polacco. Her sketchy, yet, detailed, illustrations and use of rich colors always give me a deeper appreciation for those who are blessed with the ability to draw and capture human emotion through their drawings. This week being teacher appreciation week, I used this book to remind students that ALL teachers have an important job and there is always that one special teacher in all of our lives that inspire us to be all that we can be in life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    This is a wonderful tale from Patricia Polacco's childhood that follows Thank You, Mr. Falker. Once again, she features teachers who made a significant imprint on her life. The poignancy of the story is dramatic, but not as much of a tearjerker as some of her other stories. Miss Chew is the high school art teacher, but Trisha is given a special opportunity to attend class with her because her own school had no formal art education. Our girls love to draw and they really liked that she discovered This is a wonderful tale from Patricia Polacco's childhood that follows Thank You, Mr. Falker. Once again, she features teachers who made a significant imprint on her life. The poignancy of the story is dramatic, but not as much of a tearjerker as some of her other stories. Miss Chew is the high school art teacher, but Trisha is given a special opportunity to attend class with her because her own school had no formal art education. Our girls love to draw and they really liked that she discovered her talent and passion for art and was given an opportunity to present her painting at an art show. We really enjoy Patricia Polacco's stories and so we look for them often at our local library. Lucky for us, she is a very prolific writer, so we still have a lot of her books to discover.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Krista the Krazy Kataloguer

    This is another one of Polacco's tributes to teachers who have made a difference in her life. In this case, it's her teacher from Ireland, who recognized her need for more time to take tests, and her art teacher, Miss Chew, who recognized her talent for drawing. I think this is a book that both parents and teachers should read. The message: encourage a child's talents, and be alert to any possible learning disabilities.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Abigail

    Prolific picture-book author and artist Patricia Polacco turns once again to the events of her own childhood in The Art of Miss Chew, offering a poignant tribute to two teachers who played an important role in her development as a young artist. Returning from a summer spent with her artist-grandmother in Michigan, young Trisha longs to explore her own talents in that direction, but discovers that her school has no full-time art program. Her teacher, Mr. Donovan, who finds a solution to her test- Prolific picture-book author and artist Patricia Polacco turns once again to the events of her own childhood in The Art of Miss Chew, offering a poignant tribute to two teachers who played an important role in her development as a young artist. Returning from a summer spent with her artist-grandmother in Michigan, young Trisha longs to explore her own talents in that direction, but discovers that her school has no full-time art program. Her teacher, Mr. Donovan, who finds a solution to her test-taking difficulties, also recognizes her artistic potential, and sends her to the high school for special classes with Miss Chew. All goes well, until Mr. Donovan must return to Ireland for his father's funeral, and the substitute teacher, uninterested in helping Trisha to cope with her learning disabilities, insists that the art classes are the cause of her academic troubles. Can Trisha hold onto the classes that have brought her so much pleasure - classes that have taught her the art of seeing? With Miss Chew in her corner, absolutely! As is often the case with Polacco's books, I was very moved when reading The Art of Miss Chew, and found myself sniffling a bit, as I came to the end. The importance of good teachers, to a child's development - although this is billed as a tribute to Miss Chew, I think it's clear that Mr. Donovan was just as important, in his way - is clearly highlighted in the story, as is the importance of art (and musical) education, something that is currently very much under threat in our educational system. I thought it was very telling that, through her art classes, and the new way of seeing that they open up for her, Trisha gains a better understanding of how she reads, and the specific area in which her difficulties lie. I was also struck, while reading, by the fact that both of these influential teachers are recent immigrants - Mr. Donovan comes from Ireland, and Miss Chew from China - as this highlights the wonderful things that immigrants often bring to our country. All in all, this is another lovely book from Polacco, well worth seeking out, both as a story of a young girl realizing her artistic potential, and as a reflection on the importance of a well-rounded educational curriculum.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Randie D. Camp, M.S.

    Polacco tells her own story of supportive, caring, inspiring teachers. Miss Chew who not only sparked her passion for art but also shed some light on her struggles with reading. Mr. Donovan who understood her reading challenges but more importantly saw her strengths. Great book for demonstrating the immense impact that teacher behaviors have on students. Unfortunately, there are too few Miss Chews and Mr. Donovan and too many Mrs. Spaldings.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Richelle Blum

    1. Opening Who remembers Patricia Polacco? Or a book she has written? Remember the story Thank You, Mr. Falker? About Patricia as a little girl struggling to read and the embarrassment given by her classmates? Mr. Falker steps in and teaches Patricia how to read at her own pace. What do many of Patricia Polacco's books have in common? Right! They teach students valuable lessons, they are personal narratives about Polacco's past, and they show the dedication and determination of teachers and Patri 1. Opening Who remembers Patricia Polacco? Or a book she has written? Remember the story Thank You, Mr. Falker? About Patricia as a little girl struggling to read and the embarrassment given by her classmates? Mr. Falker steps in and teaches Patricia how to read at her own pace. What do many of Patricia Polacco's books have in common? Right! They teach students valuable lessons, they are personal narratives about Polacco's past, and they show the dedication and determination of teachers and Patricia not giving up when things get hard! Based on what you know about Patricia Polacco and her books, can you predict what might happen in The Art of MIss Chew? 2. Opening Moves Prompt children to anticipate a book by a favorite author, make connections to a previous text, think about the writer's style or theme, prompt predictions based on title 3. Rationale I chose this book for three reasons: 1. I love Patricia Polacco and the messages she sends to students. The Art of Miss Chew not only demonstrates the love of passionate teachers to help all students succeed, but it also shows students that they should never give up something they love. As it is the things we love that make us who we are!. 2. It is my hopes that my students can connect to this story in some way. Whether its through determination and perseverance, or finding adults that love and care about you. I want my students to connect to this story to see the huge impact teachers have made in life of Patricia Polacco. The Art of Miss Chew, as with many, if not all, of Patricia Polacco's children's books, are personal narratives. Her stories are so full of wonderful language and detailed pictures that students can FEEL the pain, sorrow, joy, and happiness Trisha experiences throughout her journey. I want my students to experience how to add emotion and empathy into their writing and Patricia Polacco is a fabulous author to use as a mentor text! 4. Adapted Book Review Citation (2012, April 15). Booklist. http://www.booksinprint.com.leo.lib.u...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Logan Goldberg

    1. Text to Self: This book is about a student with a learning disability and her finding a way to be successful and learning from other people. I see this in my students and try my best to give them the resources that they need to succeed and Miss Chew does just that. Our society is scared of disabilities and think badly of them, but something as simple as dyslexia, can be helped with a few extra resources. Miss Chew reminds me a lot of the students who go through our school and need help becaus 1. Text to Self: This book is about a student with a learning disability and her finding a way to be successful and learning from other people. I see this in my students and try my best to give them the resources that they need to succeed and Miss Chew does just that. Our society is scared of disabilities and think badly of them, but something as simple as dyslexia, can be helped with a few extra resources. Miss Chew reminds me a lot of the students who go through our school and need help because they have a hard time succeeding in the normal classroom setting. Finding something like art, can help a student identify strengths and lean on them when they need help and make them feel like they can succeed. 2. I chose this book to include in my multicultural set because learning disabilities are a heavy concept that students have a hard time relating to. They think that anyone who has a learning disability is "weird" or "different" but they are just like them, but need a little extra support. I thought this book did a great job of identifying the disability, showing other strengths, and how to help that disability with their strengths. I feel that this would help students with understanding others with disabilities and the students with disabilities understand their own struggle in a lighter way. 3. Remembering: What was something that was difficult for Patricia? Understanding: Retell the story of how Patricia found a way to help her pass tests. Applying: How is Patricia similar to you in a way that school is hard to you? Think of any subject or concept. Analyzing: How would you compare her work on art to her reading? Evaluating: Do you agree with what Miss Chew did for Patricia? Why or why not? Creating: Create a sequel of Patricia of her in high school. How is she doing in school? In art?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nikita Shah

    This is an inspirational story for aspiring young artists who feel their skills are not understood and/or appreciated. It is a book which children with dyslexia can relate to as it talks about specific examples such as when the author explains how she sees things differently on a page which is why her reading is slow. This is a common finding in many dyslexics and the fact that children can relate to it make it more engaging for them. Referring back to the story itself, the class teacher recogni This is an inspirational story for aspiring young artists who feel their skills are not understood and/or appreciated. It is a book which children with dyslexia can relate to as it talks about specific examples such as when the author explains how she sees things differently on a page which is why her reading is slow. This is a common finding in many dyslexics and the fact that children can relate to it make it more engaging for them. Referring back to the story itself, the class teacher recognises that Trisha (the dyslexic student) has additional needs as she requires a bit more time to read and so to answer questions. The teacher also her talents in art and arranges for Trisha to join an art class with Miss Chew where she can develop her artistic skills. Trisha is enthused and feels in place as she connects with Miss Chew and the art. This is a comforting story for children as it suggests to them that there are people who will be understanding and supportive to help them succeed and develop the skills they have. The book illustrates the value a teacher can have and how they can aspire. It can also inspire children as it shows that although the author is dyslexic, she is an author which shows she preserved to do what she always wanted to do. Despite the challenges she faces with reading and words, she tackled them. The book encourages and aspires children to develop and enjoy the skills which they value.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Kramer

    "The Art of Miss Chew" by Patricia Polacco must be one of her best picture books ever. That's probably because it's written from her heart. It's an homage to an art teacher who helped Polacco through a tough time and helped her become an artist. It's autobiographical, it's touching, and it's inspiring. I defy any teacher to read this without shedding at least one tear before the story ends. It's about the difference a great teacher (or two great teachers) can make. It's also, unfortunately, about "The Art of Miss Chew" by Patricia Polacco must be one of her best picture books ever. That's probably because it's written from her heart. It's an homage to an art teacher who helped Polacco through a tough time and helped her become an artist. It's autobiographical, it's touching, and it's inspiring. I defy any teacher to read this without shedding at least one tear before the story ends. It's about the difference a great teacher (or two great teachers) can make. It's also, unfortunately, about what a difference (horrible) a terrible teacher can make. The story is about Patricia, a young girl who does not read quickly enough to pass her social studies test. Her teacher notices and gives her enough extra time to raise her test grades, so instead of flunking, she is at the head of the class. This thoughtful teacher also notices Patricia's artistic talent and helps her attend special art classes. It's the art teacher to whom this book is dedicated. Miss Chew not only teaches Patricia art, she also intervenes when a cruel substitute teacher sees Patricia failing the weekly tests (because she refuses to allow her extra time) and decides to try to end the art classes. Read the whole review at: http://www.examiner.com/review/the-ar...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I just reviewed Won-Ton, and now The Art of Miss Chew, which I also found at the library. This is a beautiful happy ending story of how Patricia Polacco became an artist, the story of two loving teachers that gave a big boost to a very talented young woman who struggled with reading, but was a gifted artist. It also gives such a great argument for keeping art in our schools. I believe that art (learning how to see) helps students in all curriculum areas. And wish that the powers up there would j I just reviewed Won-Ton, and now The Art of Miss Chew, which I also found at the library. This is a beautiful happy ending story of how Patricia Polacco became an artist, the story of two loving teachers that gave a big boost to a very talented young woman who struggled with reading, but was a gifted artist. It also gives such a great argument for keeping art in our schools. I believe that art (learning how to see) helps students in all curriculum areas. And wish that the powers up there would just ask teachers what they know before cutting classes. There is also a sweet letter written by Polacco to Miss Chew.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Although Trisha struggles with reading and writing, she has no problem expressing herself through drawing. This beautifully-drawn and -written picture book, based on the author's own growing up years, describes how her art teacher, Miss Chew, nurtures her talents. Inspiring and hear-rending, this is a must-read for anyone planning to teach since it shows so clearly the impact teachers can have on the lives of their students.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Patricia Polacco writes the most amazing books! Sharing her life with her readers is an inspiration to all. Showing the importance of creativity in life and nurturing that creativity in a child are lessons of which we all need to be reminded, especially in this age of cut-backs to artistic programs in the schools.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    Inspiring, touching, beautiful. Patricia Polacco does it yet again, taking a cornerstone moment from her life and sharing it in a way that touches her reader. Another nod to the caring teachers she encountered in her life, her struggles with reading, and her talent as an artist. Share this with every art teacher you know because they are all Miss Chews: real teachers that impact lives.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    I had been so thoroughly disappointed with Polacco's "Just in Time, Abraham Lincoln" last year that I was almost ready to write her off as being all washed up. That would have been silly of me. This book is beautiful, lovely, classic Patricia Polacco.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Satia

    Careless grammatical errors dull the shine of this story that nonetheless brought tears to my eyes. For the full review of this and two other books, click here. Careless grammatical errors dull the shine of this story that nonetheless brought tears to my eyes. For the full review of this and two other books, click here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    katsok

    I adore all of Polacco's books. What a great message about the importance of the arts.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Reading The Art of Miss Chew will reaffirm your belief that one person can make a difference for the good. My full review at: http://bit.ly/JibUxS Reading The Art of Miss Chew will reaffirm your belief that one person can make a difference for the good. My full review at: http://bit.ly/JibUxS

  23. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    Ms. Golik was the art teacher that taught me "to see" just as Miss Chew did for Patricia.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    A gifted child who struggles with reading. Two outstanding teachers -- a young man from Ireland, and an art teacher from China. And a girl with talent and a goal.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    "Art teaches us to speak a language that originates in the heart, the soul, and earliest memories. How could any course be more important?" ―Patricia Polacco, from the author's note to The Art of Miss Chew While I tend to view the powerful emotional writing as the main focus of Patricia Polacco's magnificent literature, I have always liked her drawing style, as well. In The Art of Miss Chew, she seems to take her artistic performance to new heights, creating a lush richness to the color plannin "Art teaches us to speak a language that originates in the heart, the soul, and earliest memories. How could any course be more important?" ―Patricia Polacco, from the author's note to The Art of Miss Chew While I tend to view the powerful emotional writing as the main focus of Patricia Polacco's magnificent literature, I have always liked her drawing style, as well. In The Art of Miss Chew, she seems to take her artistic performance to new heights, creating a lush richness to the color planning, and excellent artistic lines surpassed by few, if any, of her other books. Perhaps it's the intensely personal nature of telling the story of the teacher who set her on course to becoming a world-famous picture-book author and illustrator, the loving fondness of a student grateful for all the little moments that didn't even make it into the pages of this book, that lifts Ms. Polacco's artistic renderings in The Art of Miss Chew to new levels of accomplishment. I suppose a great teacher never loses the ability to inspire the best in her students. Those acquainted with Patricia Polacco's autobiographical picture books may already be familiar with Trisha's difficulty in reading. Fortunately for her, she's had some understanding teachers, caring educators whose primary concern is for the welfare of the students. If Trisha's trouble with reading isn't about a lack of intelligence, or a matter of her goofing off when it's time to study and as a result not knowing the material, then why not provide a few concessions to her different style of learning? It doesn't take long for a good teacher like Mr. Donovan to get in sync with Trisha's offbeat method of absorption and test-taking, but her relief at not being in danger of flunking because she's a slow reader is only the beginning. When Mr. Donovan recognizes Trisha's blooming artistic sensibilities, he pulls a few strings for her to join the high-school art class, since there is no art class for the lower school. And with her acceptance as a student of Miss Chew's, Trisha finally has all the guidance she'll need to become the artist her teachers are confident she can be someday. The road to greatness isn't a smooth one, however; when Mr. Donovan is called back to his homeland of Ireland to attend a family funeral, the substitute teacher is less inclined to offer Trisha special accommodation for her reading difficulties. Coming from a more rigid educational background than Mr. Donovan, the grouchy substitute finds Trisha's preoccupation with art a much more likely culprit for why she performs poorly on tests than that the girl's mind is just somehow wired differently. The substitute is determined to do her best to set Trisha straight, and she's willing to argue her case all the way to the top if that's what it takes. But Trisha's duo of wonderful teachers aren't going to let their star pupil be pushed off the path to success that easily, not even by a teacher who means well in her own way. Miss Chew has invested too much in Trisha to let it all be reset to nothing by a teacher unwilling to understand that exceptions for certain students in some matters is the only logical way to go. Miss Chew believes she may have even figured out why Trisha has problems keeping up with her classmates in reading. Mr. Donovan isn't about to let Trisha be pushed around by a substitute teacher, either. As the big night arrives when Trisha's diligent work as an artist is set to come to fruition, she finds in that one perfect moment a way to honor both Miss Chew and Mr. Donovan for the gifts they have given her. When people have meant as much as these two have to Trisha, a gift from the heart, drawn from the well of talent they fought so hard to preserve in its purity, is the most meaningful present of all. The Art of Miss Chew is a nice story in every aspect, dealing well with some deep themes even in such limited space. The struggle of artists to have their work be regarded as more than a flight of fancy, but as a vital expression of who they are and how they communicate with a world that often doesn't understand them, is represented well. There certainly are those who can't understand how important it is for artists to express themselves, thinking of the urge to create as nothing more than a petty indulgence to be grown out of eventually. Artistic kids, like Trisha, are perhaps more vulnerable to the effects of this than older artists, unable to push back when told by parents or other authority figures to do something more "worthwhile." How essential, then, it is to have teachers like Miss Chew and Mr. Donovan, who believe in the potential of their students even when that potential doesn't come in a conventional shape. With that kind of encouragement, the world truly can become a better place. Considering all the picture-book authors who have come and gone through the years, I know even the most voracious literates have read only a tiny fraction of all the books from all the authors. While acknowledging the inherent incompleteness, then, attached to this assessment, I have to say Patricia Polacco is one of the best of the best. She knows how to pack real power in her brief stories, always going straight to the heart of the matter to show that small miracles can be as significant in our lives as the larger ones, and living every day with the intent to give our love away to the people around us is the greatest reward we can earn. Thank you, Patricia Polacco, for all your books, and thank you for letting us in on the story of The Art of Miss Chew.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tera

    I love Patricia Polacco’s books. It is amazing that she is able to share her childhood through her writing. I find the stories charming and inspiring.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nicole VanLoon

    This is book is a good eye opener for anyone who is struggling with school. Patricia showed that she got frustrated by not passing the test but actually knowing the information. Her new teacher showed her that she could get good grades she just needed some extra time. This book also shows the difference between a good teacher and a horrible teacher. Genre: Biography Grade: 2nd - 5th Unique Feature: The pictures show emotion very well

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amy Ackerman

    Rationale: I chose this book because I felt it would resonate with my students that have learning difficulties. “The trouble was everyone read faster than me. Even though I knew the subject real well, I’d run out of time before I was finished.”(p.3.) Miss Chew states, “'When you see a word, I think you don’t see letters at all at first. I think you first see the space around them. The pattern they make.'”(p.21) Often times, these students struggle until a correct diagnosis is made. I feel they c Rationale: I chose this book because I felt it would resonate with my students that have learning difficulties. “The trouble was everyone read faster than me. Even though I knew the subject real well, I’d run out of time before I was finished.”(p.3.) Miss Chew states, “'When you see a word, I think you don’t see letters at all at first. I think you first see the space around them. The pattern they make.'”(p.21) Often times, these students struggle until a correct diagnosis is made. I feel they could empathize with Patricia and be inspired by her triumph at the end. “Of course, as soon as Mr. Donovan gave me extra time when I took my tests, I passed them with flying colors.” (p.29) This book portrays Patricia, a student with reading difficulties in a positive way. It also received many favorable professional reviews including School Library Journal and Library Media Connection. Text to Self Connection: I connected with this book in an unexpected way. It made me think of how often my subject and the arts in general have to be justified in the schools. I have had to explain the value of my class on more than one occasion. “'Your time would be better spent studying for your tests instead of leaving this school to take art classes’” she hissed.”(p.20) “It was as if she didn’t think art teachers were real teachers, that maybe art wasn’t even a real class.”(p.28) Wow did that hit home! I have met parents and (unfortunately) some teachers with this type of attitude. This story shows the arts as an important way for students to express themselves and feel pride in their work. “It turned out to be the defining moment in my young life. I was set on a course to be an artist-it could be no other way.” (p.37) Bloom’s Taxonomy Questions 1. Knowledge: “What happens after Mr. Donovan sees Patricia’s drawings?” 2. Understand: “Can you share a brief summary of the story?” 3. Apply: “What questions would you ask in an interview with Miss Chow?” 4. Analyze: “How would you compare Mr. Donovan and Mrs. Spaulding?” 5. Evaluate: “What judgment can you make about the character of Miss Chew?” 6. Create: “What would have happened to Patricia had she not met Miss Chew?”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Christians

    1. Lately, we have been studying the author Patricia Polacco and her style of writing. What do you think this book is going to be about, just by looking at the title and the cover? (student responses) Knowing what you know about realistic fiction and Patricia Polacco as a writer, what features can you predict this book will have? (story structure responses. Ex: problem/solution) The story we are about to read is structured like the previous ones we have read. It has characters and a plot which w 1. Lately, we have been studying the author Patricia Polacco and her style of writing. What do you think this book is going to be about, just by looking at the title and the cover? (student responses) Knowing what you know about realistic fiction and Patricia Polacco as a writer, what features can you predict this book will have? (story structure responses. Ex: problem/solution) The story we are about to read is structured like the previous ones we have read. It has characters and a plot which we know involves the problem and solution. While I read, I want you to pay attention to the problem in this story and see how the main character solves it. Maybe there will be more than one problem… 2. My opening moves for this book included making connections with previously read texts, making predictions based on the title and the front cover, text structure, and discussing an author we are familiar with and making predictions based on what we know about that author’s writing style. 3. I chose The Art of Miss Chew because it is written by the same author as the other texts (Patricia Polacco) and the structure of the book is a very good example of how realistic fiction is structured. In third grade, we study realistic fiction both with reading and writing so this book would give students more knowledge and experience with the structure of realistic fiction. I also like how this story lends itself to other aspects we could take a closer look at as a class like how the main character struggles with reading but is shown that giving up is never the answer. This story is a great way for students to connect to the character’s feelings because some students may be feeling the same way toward reading or maybe another subject in school.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Lamb Roberts

    This is another autobiographical story by Patricia Polacco only this time it takes place in middle school. Patricia can read now but it takes her longer then others. Her teacher, Mr. Donovan hands her back a test with another F on it but he realizes that she knows the information she just needs more time to take the tests. Patricia loves to draw whenever she gets the chance and Mr. Donovan noticed her talent and he hung her picture on the bulletin board. The next day Mr. Donovan told her about t This is another autobiographical story by Patricia Polacco only this time it takes place in middle school. Patricia can read now but it takes her longer then others. Her teacher, Mr. Donovan hands her back a test with another F on it but he realizes that she knows the information she just needs more time to take the tests. Patricia loves to draw whenever she gets the chance and Mr. Donovan noticed her talent and he hung her picture on the bulletin board. The next day Mr. Donovan told her about the art teacher in the high school, she saw Trisha’s work and she wanted her to be a part of the class so, twice a week Trisha went to art class in the high school. Trisha excelled in the art class. Mr. Donovan had to leave for a little while because of a family emergency, while he was gone the sub refused to let Trisha have extended time on the test and she also refused to let Trisha go to art. Trisha ran to Miss. Chew, the art teacher, and told her the problems she was having. There was a meeting to decide whether or not Trisha should continue to go to the art class and Miss. Chew fought for her. When Mr. Donovan came back he was very upset by the way Trisha was treated and he made it so that sub never came back to the school. This is a great story of ableism, how all children are expected to do their work in the same way without consideration of their learning differences. This story shows how some people want to bully and cut you down while others are willing to stick up for you. The pictures are beautiful and the story is captivating.

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