Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece

Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece

by Patricia Polacco
     
 

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In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.
 
Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr

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Overview

In this inspiring true story, beloved artist Patricia Polacco conquers her fear of public speaking, allowing her to discover her remarkable voice. A wonderful companion to Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Art of Miss Chew, it celebrates the lifelong impact of a great teacher.
 
Speaking in front of an audience terrifies Trisha. Ending up in Mr. Wayne’s drama class is the last thing she wants! But Mr. Wayne gives her a backstage role painting scenery for the winter play. As she paints, she listens to the cast rehearse, memorizing their lines without even realizing it. Then, days before opening night, the lead actress suddenly moves away, and Trisha is the only other person who knows her part. Will the play have to be canceled? It won’t be an easy road—when Trisha tries to recite the lines in front of the cast, nothing comes out! But Mr. Wayne won’t let her give up, and with his coaching, Trisha is able to become one of his true masterpieces.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/12/2014
In Polacco’s world, children confront fears and solve problems with the help of loving adults, their exchanges captured with exceptional powers of observation; in this story, she recalls overcoming a paralyzing fear of speaking in public. Young Patricia has memorized the entire school play, and she’s comfortable in her role as prompter, but when the lead actress moves away, someone must step in. “Patricia, you have to, you just have to,” the cast members plead. Horrified at the thought, she allows herself to be coached by the charismatic theater teacher, Mr. Wayne: “Patricia, let the play take you.” Polacco (Thank You, Mr. Falker) draws herself tormented by anxiety on opening night, gasping in the wings, then, miraculously, letting the play take her: “I was Musette, and the more I said, the easier it got.” Readers will feel the exhilaration of the standing ovation she receives and the warmth of Mr. Wayne’s praise: “Tonight, you’re my masterpiece.” Saddle shoes, stick-out skirts, and her English teacher’s brush cut all contribute to the period setting. Even the shyest readers may find themselves inspired. Ages 5–8. (Aug.)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Polacco’s pencil and marker illustrations are expressive and immediate. . . . The depictions of Mr. T. and Mr. Wayne are particularly dynamic and even tender. . . . A lovely tribute to teachers and their life-changing impact on the author and countless other young people.”
From the Publisher
“In Polacco’s world, children confront fears and solve problems with the help of loving adults, their exchanges captured with exceptional powers of observation. . . . Readers will feel the exhilaration of the standing ovation she receives and the warmth of Mr. Wayne’s praise. . . . Saddle shoes, stick-out skirts, and her English teacher’s brush cut all contribute to the period setting. Even the shyest readers may find themselves inspired.” — Publishers Weekly

“Like Polacco’s Thank You, Mr. Falker and others, an inspiring tale made all the more so by its roots in life.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Polacco has done it again! . . . Polacco’s realistic, vibrant illustrations convey a range of emotions, especially her own, which vary from utter terror to extreme exuberance. She credits Mr. Wayne with enabling her to now speak to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.” — School Library Journal

“Polacco’s pencil and marker illustrations are expressive and immediate. . . . The depictions of Mr. T. and Mr. Wayne are particularly dynamic and even tender. . . . A lovely tribute to teachers and their life-changing impact on the author and countless other young people.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Kirkus Reviews
2014-05-14
The terrible fear of speaking in public in front of others—no words will come out, no terror like it—is given passionate form in Polacco's latest, based, as her books often are, on an event from her own life.The Patricia of the story is the author herself as a girl, who loves to read and write but is reduced to quivering silence when asked even to read aloud. Her beloved English teacher sends her to the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne, where she takes refuge in painting scenery and listening to every word of dialogue and stage direction. Soon she is acting as prompter, as she holds the entire play in her head. When the girl playing the lead suddenly moves away without a word to anyone at the school, everyone knows only Patricia has all the words. Mr. Wayne gives Patricia the tools she needs on stage: breathe, move, "let the play take you." And she does! The last page tells how Polacco's Mr. Wayne helped her overcome her deep shyness, allowing her now to speak to many with joy and energy. Her usual pencil-and-marker-patterned dots, flowers and stripes adorn the exuberantly dramatized figures of teachers, students and heroine.Like Polacco's Thank You, Mr. Falker (1998) and others, an inspiring tale made all the more so by its roots in life. (Picture book. 7-10)
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 3–6—Polacco has done it again! She has taken a personal story from her past and turned it into a lesson for us all. In the process, she has praised another teacher, but in this case, it's two teachers. Polacco describes her favorite English teacher, Mr. Tranchina, who asked her to share an essay with the class. She was so terrified that she couldn't utter a single word. That very day Mr. T. conferred with the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne, and Patricia was invited to help with the winter play. She had no interest whatsoever in playing a role, but in the process of participating in the acting exercises, she began to get used to emoting a tiny bit. At the same time, she listened in on all the rehearsals while painting scenery and soon found that she knew every line in the play. A week before the first performance, the lead and her family suddenly moved away. The only one who could fill the role was Patricia—she knew the lines, and she knew the stage directions. What she didn't know was how to get the "dust and sand" out of her throat enough to say the lines. Mr. Wayne's advice to "Let the play take you" and his unshakable faith in her ability gave her the courage to step out from behind the curtain. Polacco's realistic, vibrant illustrations convey a range of emotions, especially her own, which vary from utter terror to extreme exuberance. She credits Mr. Wayne with enabling her to now speak to audiences of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399160950
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/12/2014
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
94,735
Product dimensions:
8.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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