Uncle Vova's Tree

Overview

Christmastime is special at Uncle Vova's house. Laughing and singing, he dances, takes the children on a sleigh ride, and gathers them to trim the tree that he and Svetlana planted when they first came to America. But when Vova is gone, to the surprise of everyone, the miracle of his tree-and the memories? only grow.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and children gather at a farm house to celebrate Christmas in the Russian tradition....

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Overview

Christmastime is special at Uncle Vova's house. Laughing and singing, he dances, takes the children on a sleigh ride, and gathers them to trim the tree that he and Svetlana planted when they first came to America. But when Vova is gone, to the surprise of everyone, the miracle of his tree-and the memories? only grow.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and children gather at a farm house to celebrate Christmas in the Russian tradition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. This otherwise fine book is marred by a telling that tends too often toward stock images and phrases; owing in part to this weakness, the magical scene at the story's end seems a sentimental contrivance and fails to convince. Ages 4-8. Sept.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In this wonderful read-aloud book for the holiday season, readers will resonate with the message of love and family. While the setting is the Midwestern family farm, the family gathers and observes the Christmas as they would have in theier Russian homeland. The text is filled with bold colorful illustrations of Russian Orthodox Christian holiday traditions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414835
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/1/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 627,092
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Polacco
Patricia Polacco lives in Union City, Michigan.
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