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The Mermaid's Purse

por Patricia Polacco

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"Stella loves books so much, she starts her own library--but then a storm threatens to destroy everything"--
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Prolific picture-book author and artist Patricia Polacco once again draws upon her rich family history in this lovely title, setting out the story of her grandmother Estella. Born during a storm, in a "mermaid's purse" - a folk term for an intact birth membrane - Stella loves stories, and eventually books. She collects so many that her father builds her a little free-standing library on their farm, which she christens the "Mermaid's Purse." Sharing her books and knowledge with her neighbors, Stella becomes a popular figure, and her kindness is repaid when a tornado destroys the library, and she receives help in rebuilding and collecting her dispersed volumes...

As both a bibliophile and a storm lover - not to mention a Patricia Polacco fan! - I greatly enjoyed The Mermaid's Purse, both for its themes and for its storytelling. As is so often the case with this author/artist, there were moments where I was tearing up. I appreciated the idea of books and reading as being both imaginative and practical, as Stella entertains the local children with stories, but also helps stricken sheep and drowning boys with the knowledge she has gained from her tomes. I also greatly appreciated the inclusion of a brief author's afterword about the Estella, complete with photographs of her. Recommended to all young book and library-lovers, and to fellow Polacco fans. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Mar 3, 2020 |
I LOVE IT!!! Polacco did an absolute wonderful job with this book as always. The young girl, Patricia's grandmother, shows her little town something that she loves, books. She shows them how wonderful books can be and the amazing things that they can help with. She even teaches an old grumpy man how to read. She loses all of her books in a terrible tornado but the whole town searches everywhere and finds books all over and return them all to her. My favorite line is when the old grumpy man says "you brought the world to us through your book, so we brought them back to you..." I love that! It really shows the wonderfulness of a book. This is why I love to read because I feel like I am in another world and it helps me escape from my own world. ( )
  hdavis1 | Sep 24, 2019 |
This book is a story is about a grandma named Stella. In 1883, she was born on her parent's farm in Locke Center, Michigan. Stella loved to read book and was very smart! Her Pa, made her a library, Mermaid's Purse, so she could have all her book on display. She didn’t like how the farmers didn’t care about her book, this is the rising action in this story. The climax is when she decides she is going to take her books to all the farmers, so they could read them. No one cared to read them still. The resolution is……One day, a farmer's sheep was laying on its side not looking good. They called Stella over there and she grab two books and ran over. She was able to save the sheeps life by reading the book. The farmer then realized that books are important, and that a book help Stella save his sheep’s life. She also helped save someone from drowning, thanks to her book who taught her how. Everyone started taking her books and wanted to learning things like Stella. A horrible twister came and destroyed her library. She was devastated, what was she going to do without her books? At the end, the farmers rebuilt her a new library, and they all found her books and more and returned them to her! Another really good book! ( )
  lsalone | Feb 16, 2018 |
Summary: This book is about the author's grandmother. She retells her grandmother's life by talking of her love for books and how she influenced many of the farmers in the area to learn how to read.

Critique of Genre: Biography because it's a retelling of the author's grandmother's life.

Age: Intermediate

Media: Pencils and markers
  aschoenberg12 | Apr 19, 2017 |
As always, Patricia Polacco does not disappoint. Her beautiful artwork and heartwarming story will entertain and inform you. This time she's telling the story of her grandmother's life and the impact of books upon both her grandmother and the community in which she lived. Highly recommended for elementary school age+. ( )
  JenW1 | Apr 11, 2017 |
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