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About the Author

Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an MFA and a PhD in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen-exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Ms. Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects in the United States that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs. The mother of a grown son and a daughter, she currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.


K-Gr 3 A pleasant enough tale of a small town's excited reaction to the landing of a meteorite in a front yard. The family cordons off the ``rock,'' and the townspeople soon flock to the spotsome auction meteor basket lunches and sell popcorn, the local high-school band gives a meteoric performance, and university science departments come to analyze the meteorite. The entire town seems filled with a special magic inspired by touching the meteorite. There is a nostalgic, homey feeling to this book, and small-town America comes to life in its pages. Unfortunately, the townspeople call the meteorite a meteor, which is inaccurate, and the adjective meteoric becomes monotonous. The stylized acrylic illustrations are unusual and appealing. Facial expressions are espcially well-drawn. Unfortunately, the flaws in the book don't lift it above the mediocre. Barbara S. McGinn, Oak Hill Elementary School, Severna Park, Md.

The last event people in Union City remember was when ``Bertie Felspaw got her elbow caught in the revolving door at the library over Coldwater way.'' It's no wonder they make such a big fuss over the meteor that lands on Gramma and Granpa's farm. The news buzzes through town, more disastrous in each retelling. Soon the farm becomes a carnival ground, with a band and a circus and hot-air balloon rides. When the festivities are over, those who have touched the meteor feel that their lives have changed. Based on a true event, this enchanting book overwhelmingly expresses the magic that suddenly pervades a small town, from the funny, folksy way the story is told to the imaginative, full-color illustrations. Ages 5-9. (April)

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