Luba and the Wren by Patricia Polacco
(Picture Books)

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Dear Luba, she lives so happily in her dacha in the country with her mama and papa-until she helps a frightened wren! She only means to help the wren, as she would any creature, but when the wren returns the favor, how Luba's life changes! "Ask for anything you wish," the wren says. Luba wants nothing, but her mama and papa want a rich estate. Then to be lords, then czar and czarina-then rulers of the world! Where will it end?

In this blazing texture of color, Patricia Polacco, one of America's best-loved storytellers, brings to her many readers a Russian-style turn on The Fisherman and his Wife, introducing an enchanting new character whose love for simplicity wins the day and the lives of her parents.

About Patricia Polacco

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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 title The Art of Miss. Chew made The New York Times Best Seller list for 2012.
Published May 24, 1999 by Philomel. 40 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Luba and the Wren

Kirkus Reviews

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In this child-centered version of “The Fisherman and his Wife,” Luba, a little girl, rescues a wren from a hunter’s net, and the wren offers to grant her a wish.

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Publishers Weekly

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With the bird's burgeoning disgust at the parents' demands, the sky becomes blacker, the wind howls and storm clouds ""rolled angrily in the sky."" Youngsters may need some adult help to grasp why the wren's granting of the parents' final, ""sacrilegious"" wish--""to be as Gods""--finds them back...

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