Cover image for Welcome Comfort
Title:
Welcome Comfort
Author:
Polacco, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
33 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
Welcome Comfort, a lonely foster child, is assured by his friend the school custodian that there is a Santa Claus, but he does not discover the truth until one wondrous and surprising Christmas Eve.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 520 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 32750.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 2 Quiz: 21491 Guided reading level: P.
ISBN:
9780399231698
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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Summary

Summary

It's not easy being Welcome Comfort-a foster child always moving from home to home and getting picked on by the kids at school. Even Christmas, the most wondrous time of the year, isn't so wonderful for Welcome, who has no family, no presents, and no Santa Claus. "Santa! He's not even real!" But when Mr. Hamp, the school custodian, becomes his closest friend, Welcome's life changes forever. Now he has someone to visit and a family to be a part of. Yet Christmas is still a lonely time for Welcome since the Hamps go away every year and there's still no sign of Santa. "Child, he'll find you" says Mr. Hamp. "Maybe he hasn't come because you haven't believe hard enough." Accompanied by art that radiates the brilliance of the season, Patricia Polacco's heartwarming journey through the generations of a boy's life proves that "believing is seeing" and ask if perhaps there isn't a Santa Claus inside every one of us.


Author Notes

Patricia Polacco was born in Lansing, Michigan on July 11, 1944. She attended Oakland Tech High School in Oakland, California before heading off to the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, then Laney Community College in Oakland. She then set off for Monash University, Mulgrave, Australia and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia where she received a Ph.D in Art History, Emphasis on Iconography.

After college, she restored ancient pieces of art for museums. She didn't start writing children's books until she was 41 years old. She began writing down the stories that were in her head, and was then encouraged to join the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. There she learned how to put together a dummy and get a story into the form of a children's picture book. Her mother paid for a trip to New York, where the two visited 16 publishers in one week. She submitted everything she had to more than one house. By the time she returned home the following week, she had sold just about everything.

Polacco has won the 1988 Sydney Taylor Book Award for The Keeping Quilt, and the 1989 International Reading Association Award for Rechenka's Eggs. She was inducted into the Author's Hall of Fame by the Santa Clara Reading Council in 1990, and received the Commonwealth Club of California's Recognition of Excellence that same year for Babushka's Doll, and again in 1992 for Chicken Sunday. She also won the Golden Kite Award for Illustration from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for Chicken Sunday in 1992, as well as the Boston Area Educators for Social Responsibility Children's Literature and Social Responsibility Award. In 1993, she won the Jane Adams Peace Assoc. and Women's Intl. League for Peace and Freedom Honor award for Mrs. Katz and Tush for its effective contribution to peace and social justice. She has won Parent's Choice Honors for Some Birthday in 1991, the video Dream Keeper in 1997 and Thank You Mr. Falker in 1998. In 1996, she won the Jo Osborne Award for Humor in Children's Literature. Her titles The Art of Miss. Chew and The Blessing Cup made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a starred review, PW called this tale of an overweight foster child, befriended by the equally rotund school custodian (who heads out of town every Christmas Eve), "a warm blend of fantasy and reality that delivers a satisfying surprise ending." Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-With her well-known way with words and exuberant illustrations, Polacco has again created an endearing holiday offering. Welcome Comfort is an overweight foster child who knows loneliness well, but finds acceptance and solace in his friendship with the new school custodian, Quintin Hamp. It is through his influence that Welcome learns that "believin' is seein.'" The Hamps become a stable and lasting force in his life, even though they take a mysterious vacation north every year on Christmas Eve. One year the young man and his new bride are invited along and readers learn that Welcome has been groomed over the years to become the next Santa Claus. A touching and enjoyable story that reads well aloud.-T.T. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.