Cover image for Mr. Wayne's masterpiece
Mr. Wayne's masterpiece
Polacco, Patricia.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, NY : G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), [2014]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Because she is afraid to read an essay aloud in English class, young Patricia is invited to take Mr. Wayne's drama class where she paints sets, participates in fun exercises, and memorizes every part in the play the others are rehearsing.
Format :


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Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clarence Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Crane Branch Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Eggertsville-Snyder Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Kenmore Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew , it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.

Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne's drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won't be an easy road--when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne won't let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces.

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

In her latest semiautobiographical picture book, Polacco deftly explores her childhood fear of public speaking. When her English teacher asks Patricia to read an essay in front of the class, she begins to shake and feels like she has gulped handfuls of sand. She is more comfortable behind the scenes, and while working on the set design for the school play, she inadvertently memorizes every line. When the lead abruptly moves out of town, everyone looks to Patricia to take her place. With the support of her drama teacher, Mr. Wayne, she agrees to take on the role, overcomes her stage fright, and confidently shines during the play. Realistic pencil-and-marker illustrations across double-page spreads capture young Patricia's utter vulnerability, as well as her transformative performance at the story's end. Early elementary readers will relate to the self-doubt Polacco expresses, and they will also find vicarious comfort through her supportive relationships with teachers, as well as her ultimate triumph over fear.--Hanson, Julie Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In Polacco's world, children confront fears and solve problems with the help of loving adults, their exchanges captured with exceptional powers of observation; in this story, she recalls overcoming a paralyzing fear of speaking in public. Young Patricia has memorized the entire school play, and she's comfortable in her role as prompter, but when the lead actress moves away, someone must step in. "Patricia, you have to, you just have to," the cast members plead. Horrified at the thought, she allows herself to be coached by the charismatic theater teacher, Mr. Wayne: "Patricia, let the play take you." Polacco (Thank You, Mr. Falker) draws herself tormented by anxiety on opening night, gasping in the wings, then, miraculously, letting the play take her: "I was Musette, and the more I said, the easier it got." Readers will feel the exhilaration of the standing ovation she receives and the warmth of Mr. Wayne's praise: "Tonight, you're my masterpiece." Saddle shoes, stick-out skirts, and her English teacher's brush cut all contribute to the period setting. Even the shyest readers may find themselves inspired. Ages 5-8. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-6-Polacco has done it again! She has taken a personal story from her past and turned it into a lesson for us all. In the process, she has praised another teacher, but in this case, it's two teachers. Polacco describes her favorite English teacher, Mr. Tranchina, who asked her to share an essay with the class. She was so terrified that she couldn't utter a single word. That very day Mr. T. conferred with the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne, and Patricia was invited to help with the winter play. She had no interest whatsoever in playing a role, but in the process of participating in the acting exercises, she began to get used to emoting a tiny bit. At the same time, she listened in on all the rehearsals while painting scenery and soon found that she knew every line in the play. A week before the first performance, the lead and her family suddenly moved away. The only one who could fill the role was Patricia-she knew the lines, and she knew the stage directions. What she didn't know was how to get the "dust and sand" out of her throat enough to say the lines. Mr. Wayne's advice to "Let the play take you" and his unshakable faith in her ability gave her the courage to step out from behind the curtain. Polacco's realistic, vibrant illustrations convey a range of emotions, especially her own, which vary from utter terror to extreme exuberance. She credits Mr. Wayne with enabling her to now speak to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.-Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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