Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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The Art of Miss Chew / by Patricia Polacco

Title: The Art of Miss Chew
Author and Illustrator: Patricia Polacco

G.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN: 978-0-399-25703-2
Year: 2012

Concepts: jobs, careers, human resources.

Review: As a youngster, Patricia Polacco loved to draw. However, her school did not have enough money to fund an art class; all that they could afford was art on a cart for half an hour each week. Luckily her teacher not only recognized Trisha's talent, he also valued the arts, so he recommended that Trisha join a special program for young artists taught twice a week by Miss Violet Chew, head of the high school art department.

Patricia thrived in that class and learned how to see and appreciate art in a whole different way. Miss Chew's tutelage would have continued seamlessly were it not for the untimely and unwelcomed intervention of a substitute teacher who saw the time that Trisha devoted to the art program as the root cause of her poor test taking skills. Would Trisha be forced to leave the program that had introduced her to the new language of art?

This autobiographical account from acclaimed author and illustrator Patricia Polacco makes a strong case not only for the difference that special teachers can make in the lives of their students, but also for the importance of funding school programs in the arts. The story and illustrations are both powerful and captivating; this book is a true delight

Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children


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