Thank You, Patricia Polacco!
by Alexie Basil
Discover how a special teacher helped author Patricia Polacco overcome a reading disability and inspired her award-winning children’s book Thank You, Mr. Falker. Play Patricia’s Scholastic Book Clubs–exclusive interview for your students to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6–10).
Patricia Polacco already thanked her favorite teacher, Mr. Falker, in the aptly titled Thank You, Mr. Falker—and now, she wants to thank you, teachers everywhere!
In this video interview, the beloved children’s book creator reveals the real-life details behind Thank You, Mr. Falker, as well as her appreciation for educators and their contributions to children’s lives.
Watch the video together with your students and celebrate the amazing impact of teachers. Patricia’s story also offers a powerful reminder to students that even bestselling authors can face challenges with reading!
If we could say anything to Patricia Polacco, we would tell her: Thank you for putting so many wonderful stories onto our bookshelves and into our classrooms and helping us to spread the joy of reading with students everywhere. If you could tell or ask Patricia anything, what would you say? Please share with us on social media using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.
Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to a mother of Russian and Ukrainian descent and a father of Irish descent, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. She spent the school months in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She continued to study in the United States and Australia, earning an MFA and PhD in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting and iconographic history. In addition to including familiar places in her books, close family members, distant relatives, and favorite friends have found their way onto Patricia’s pages. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. “My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists. With each retelling, our stories gain a little more oomph!”
Photo credit: Donna Claar
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs