Children’s books are often a great source of information. But sometimes they can also be very inspiring. Today’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom, Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco is wonderful book full of insight.
I first came across Junkyard Wonders last year when I won the book at an auction. I was drawn to its wonderful illustrations, but it is the clever storytelling that won me over. The story is based upon a real lived event in the author’s childhood.
The book is about a girl, named Trisha, who enrolls in a new school. Her new class is known as the “junkyard”. It is a special class for an oddly brilliant group of misfit kids, who the other children in school call the junkyard kids.
The “junkyard” class is taught by the quirky and inspiring, Mrs. Peterson. She is an amazing teacher who brings out the unique talent of each of her students. Mrs. Peterson helps the junkyard kids to realize being ‘regular’ does not make you smarter or better.
There are so many great things about this book. First, the wonderful illustrations. Ms. Polacco is a gifted illustrator and makes her characters come to life with her drawings. The story is one of acceptance. It also reminds us that everyone has a unique talent or gift. It is up to us to find out what it is.
The first time I read this story I was moved to tears. It is a story of loss, but also one of hope. I have read this to my four-year old, but due to its sad nature, it may be a better choice for the school age child.
Ms. Polacco has written several wonderful children’s books. Two of my other favorites are Thundercake and Our Mother’s House. Thundercake is cute story about how a grandmother helps her granddaughter conquer her fear of thunderstorms. Our Mother’s House is a fantastic book about a family with two moms and no dad. It beautifully explains what it is like to have a different kind of family.
If you are interested in The Junkyard Wonders or any other of Ms. Polacco’s books I recommend you visit her website at www.patriciapolacco.com .