cover image Gifts of the Heart

Gifts of the Heart

Patricia Polacco. Putnam, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-16094-3

It’s Richie and Trisha’s last Christmas on Grampa’s farm, and they’re convinced that the new housekeeper, who comes in the wake of Gramma’s death, does not belong. But Kay Lamity gradually wins them over with her domestic talents, comforting bosom, and backcountry ways and wisdom. Polacco strains credibility by giving Kay Lamity lines like, “Well, slap my face to the side of a hog and let him roll in the mud,” but once again the energetic lyricism of her watercolors is a triumph. Winter always finds Polacco in her element, and her scenes of snug interiors and snowy landscapes find the emotional truths in even overly sentimental moments. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)