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The Art of Miss Chew [Hardcover]

Patricia Polacco

List Price: CDN$ 19.00
Price: CDN$ 13.72 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

April 17 2012
After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for!

This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child's life - and celebrates the power of art itself.

Frequently Bought Together

The Art of Miss Chew + Junkyard Wonders + Bully
Price For All Three: CDN$ 43.68

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

  • Junkyard Wonders CDN$ 16.24
  • Bully CDN$ 13.72

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399257039
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399257032
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 1.2 x 28.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #241,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"The joy of artistic creation and the value of teachers who are willing to look outside the box come through clearly in the first-person narrative and Polacco's fluid illustrations."
(Publishers Weekly)

"Full of color and movement. . . . [Polacco's] first-person narration tells her tragedy and triumph in a very down-to-earth way, using the tone of the 11-year-old she was."
(Kirkus Reviews)

"The moving memoir will resonate with any student who has struggled with reading and should also spark empathy among their classmates."

"Heartwarming tribute. . . . Detailed representational paintings bring to life scenes that evoke both true sorrow and absolute joy."
(School Library Journal)

"In this heartfelt autobiographical picture book, Patricia Polacco pays tribute to her first art teacher, Miss Violet Chew."
(Library Media Connection)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and touching April 24 2012
By Joan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
We just bought this book three days ago for our three children all 7 and under, and they keep asking to read it again and again! It is deeply touching and moves my husband and I to tears when we read it. It is a story about the beauty and importance of artistic expression and discovering your individual way of learning.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Fabulous Polacco Book May 14 2012
By Tatze - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have a budding young artist, this book will help them see the value of their talent. It will also introduce them to the ways in which society denegrates art. It's important for young artists to understand why society doesn't always support art because, as artists, they will be drawn into conversations about the importance and value of art. Polacco shows how art helps people see things differently (which happens to be the basis for empathy). This book has all of the wonderful elements that you expect in a Polacco book: great drawings; a touching, insightful story based on her life; and real humans facing real challenges.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The art of Miss Chew May 4 2012
By RACHEL SCHNEIDER - Published on Amazon.com
It is an excellent book, as always Patricia Polacco delivered an intelligent and educating book. I would recommend it to everyone
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children May 3 2012
By Yana V. Rodgers - Published on Amazon.com
As a youngster, Patricia Polacco loved to draw. However, her school did not have enough money to fund an art class; all that they could afford was art on a cart for half an hour each week. Luckily her teacher not only recognized Trisha's talent, he also valued the arts, so he recommended that Trisha join a special program for young artists taught twice a week by Miss Violet Chew, head of the high school art department.

Patricia thrived in that class and learned how to see and appreciate art in a whole different way. Miss Chew's tutelage would have continued seamlessly were it not for the untimely and unwelcomed intervention of a substitute teacher who saw the time that Trisha devoted to the art program as the root cause of her poor test taking skills. Would Trisha be forced to leave the program that had introduced her to the new language of art?

This autobiographical account from acclaimed author and illustrator Patricia Polacco makes a strong case not only for the difference that special teachers can make in the lives of their students, but also for the importance of funding school programs in the arts. The story and illustrations are both powerful and captivating; this book is a true delight.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous Feb. 4 2013
By Chel - Published on Amazon.com
This book is about a girl, Patricia, who is really talented with art. She discovers a love for it while staying with her grandmother one summer. Her school doesn't have much of an art program, but she is so talented her teacher recommends her for a special art program in her school system, taught by Miss Chew.

Although Patricia is incredibly talented in art, she struggles with taking tests because of a learning disability. Her regular teacher realizes this issue and gives her extra time to take tests, allowing her to succeed. Patricia is loving life; she's learning about art and doing well in her regular class. However, her teacher's dad dies and Patricia has to have a substitute teacher for a while. The substitute thinks Patricia should spend her time studying rather than doing art and refuses to give her extra time on tests. Patricia starts failing her tests again and she is very upset she's going to be taken out of Miss Chew's art class. Miss Chew learns what is going on and starts advocating for her. She arranges for Patricia to see a reading specialist and a meeting at school occurs and all is happily resolved in the end. (I'm trying to not include too many spoilers.)

My kids and I loved this book. One thing I love is the words `learning disability' are never used. Patricia has had problems reading in the past and she still reads too slowly to finish a test, but it's never called a disability. Her art teacher and a reading specialist explain the way she reads in art terms rather than calling it a disability; it's just another way Patricia sees the world.

Another great aspect of the book is the art. It has beautiful pictures. A few art concepts are described in the story, such as negative space and seeing the world through artists' eyes. It reminded me to `see' some of the details of the world and help my kids do the same.

Plus, a side story in the book is Patricia's relationship with her regular teacher, Mr. Donovan. Patricia paints a beautiful picture of Mr. Donovan's father and I can hardly read the last page of the book without crying.

I asked my 4 year old what she likes about the book and she said `everything.' She went through the book and showed me what she liked about every picture. She clearly loved the story line, especially the relationships between Patricia and her teachers (with the exception of the substitute teacher of course!)

We'd recommend this book! My 11-year-old liked it. Even my 2-year-old sat through an entire reading of it (though he mostly liked to point to Miss Chew and help turn the pages.)

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