Cover image for Betty Doll
Title:
Betty Doll
Author:
Polacco, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
40 unnumbered pages : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.3 0.5 49738.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 3.8 3 Quiz: 24778 Guided reading level: M.
ISBN:
9780399236389
Format :
Book

Available:*

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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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On Order

Summary

Summary

Patricia Polacco shares a never-before-told story about her mother's favorite doll.

"My Darlin Trisha, my mother wrote..." So begins the story of Patricia Polacco's mother's favorite doll.

Whenever Mary Ellen needed Betty Doll, she was there. She survived blizzards and thunderstorms, attended parties and weddings, and helped mourn the deaths of old friends. From the day Trisha's mother first sewed Betty Doll together stitch by stitch, to the day, many years later, when she discovered she had cancer, her soft, sweet Betty Doll was there. Now Betty Doll lives on in Patricia Polacco's soft, beautiful artwork as Trisha shares the warm and poignant moments of her mother's favorite doll with readers of all ages.


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 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. As sensible as the circle of life may be, the death of a loved one is never an easy thing to endure. This immensely personal, unashamedly sentimental picture book for older children tenderly explores loss and love in equal measure. Betty Doll was Polacco's mother Mary Ellen's "plaything," a wisp of a doll made of rags and affection. Using the doll as a vehicle for family history, Polacco tells Mary Ellen's story in the form of a letter that tracks a life full of adventurous ups and heartbreaking downs that transcended geographic and generational boundaries. Just before Mary Ellen dies, Betty Doll is lovingly prepared for a new journey--to be a comfort to a daughter in time of great need, a reminder of a mother's love that never dies. In both her nostalgic text and pencil sketches touched here and there with pale color, Polacco gracefully offers the same timeless comfort to all who turn the pages and read. --Kelly Milner Halls


Publisher's Weekly Review

After her mother's death, the author finds her parent's beloved doll, and the note attached to it inspires this story. "Polacco again elegantly embroiders a patch from the fabric of her own life in a moving tale that demonstrates the importance of family legacies," wrote PW. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Many of Polacco's books draw on her family memories and experiences, and this one is no exception. Using a letter from her mother that she discovered after the woman's death, she has created a special intergenerational book. Six-year-old Mary Ellen (Polacco's mother) made Betty Doll when her family's belongings were destroyed in a fire, and the doll accompanied her to her first day at a new school, saved her life during a blizzard, traveled with her to visit her relatives in Chicago, and was always there to offer comfort when things got tough. When Mary Ellen grew up and had children of her own, Betty was there to comfort Patricia and her brother, eventually becoming a symbol of family love and warmth, a focus for family history and a link with the past. The distinctive illustrations, done in pencil with soft muted grays, blacks, and pale yellows, emphasize the importance of "Betty Doll," the one bright spot of color on each page. The effect is reminiscent of old photographs and adds the perfect touch.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.