"Ms. Polacco has written a beautiful book illustrating some of the
Russian Christmas customs."

-Children's Book Review Service

"Polacco's combination of softly delineated faces; subtle areas of white space has an eclectic look, but she pulls these elements of her distinctive style together into an expressive presentation. In composition, color, and detail, the artwork glows with originality and verve. A fine read-aloud book for the Christmas season."

-Booklist (boxed review)

"This heartfelt remembrance reads smoothly, and the paintings make ample use of brightly colored Russian textiles. A small gem."

-School Library Journal

The Story
From Publishers Weekly

For the children in an extended family of Russian immigrants, Christmas at Uncle Vova's provides a literal and visual feast. There is the savory porridge, kutya (each aunt's recipe is different); there are paper ornaments, a sleigh ride and, not least, Vova's loving decoration of an evergreen for the animals outside. The year after Vova's death, the family's sorrow is tempered by the miraculous sight of the animals decorating Vova's tree. Polacco uses splashes of vibrant watercolor with delicately pencilled faces--an unusual and striking technique that manages both to exude the gaiety of the celebrations in the here-and-now and to suggest the centuries on which the customs rest. She highlights intriguing details of Russian holiday lore and also pays tribute to the importance of honoring one's heritage by preserving tradition.

Ages 4-8.

The Artwork

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