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Christmas Tapestry

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  989 Ratings  ·  74 Reviews
When a bad leak ruins the sacristy wall in his father's church, Jonathan Jefferson Weeks thinks his family's first Christmas Eve service in Detroit will be ruined, too. But then he and his father find a beautiful tapestry for sale in a secondhand shop. Just the thing to cover the damaged wall and give the church a festive look! But then, amazingly, an old Jewish woman who ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 23rd 2002 by Philomel Books
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A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
64th out of 796 books — 1,109 voters
Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia PolaccoPink and Say by Patricia PolaccoThunder Cake by Patricia PolaccoThe Keeping Quilt by Patricia PolaccoMr. Lincoln's Way by Patricia Polacco
Best of Patricia Polacco
13th out of 58 books — 48 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Jan 12, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Christmastime reading, and would work for Chanukkah too; PKs
I love this author/illustrator but was not in the mood for a Christmas book at all. Throughout much of it was a bit too Christian religious for me, but hey, it’s a Christmas book. Even by the end it was a tad too much “everything happens for a reason” for me.

However, I loved this story, and the winter themed illustrations are lovely. I loved that Polacco found a way to include Judaism in her book and halfway through when we meet the elderly Jewish woman, my “Patricia Polacco tears" (as I now cal
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittaney Reed
Feb 10, 2014 Brittaney Reed rated it it was amazing
Polacco, P. (2002).Christmas tapestry. New York: Philomel Books.

"Christmas Tapestry" by Patricia Polacco is such a heart warming book. It follows a young boy and his minister father , and family as they move to a new state to start a new Church. Jonathan Jefferson Weeks, thinks it is bad luck that he and his family had to move and fix up this run down church. He didn't want to move. After all the work his father put into the other Church, Jonathan soon realizes that his father can do the same to
Nov 23, 2014 Patti rated it really liked it
For my goodreads friends that have kids…

Among my All-Time Favorite ‘Spirit of Christmas’ books are: “Christmas Tapestry” by Patricia Polacco; “The Carpenter’s Gift” by David Rubel; and “The Light of Christmas” by Richard Paul Evans. All are priceless in terms of teaching beautifully that giving IS the true spirit of Christmas. And absolutely appropriate for ANY age that needs such an important reminder.

“Christmas Tapestry” is by one of my favorite authors, Patricia Polacco. This is one of severa
Tanya W
Jan 27, 2013 Tanya W rated it really liked it
Liked the story, but it was hard to suspend belief. I want stories with all these miraculous twists to be true instead of made up.

Spoiler alert...
Where is the story of an unlikely meeting years later between a husband and wife separated in the Holocaust,who thought each other dead, that serves to reunite them? That is the story that should be made into a children's book. But maybe there isn't a real story like that out there... so this is the next best thing.
Olivia Lagore
Combining several true stories taken from church homilies and adapted and fleshed out, Patricia Polacco tells the story of a young pastors son who finds a tapestry to cover a hole in a church wall and inadvertently brings a husband and wife, separated for dozens of years by the Nazi pogrom, back together just in time for Christmas.
The book uses some slight foreshadowing throughout to connect each thread of the story and while at first each of the events seem unrelated, they are all pulled toget
Nov 26, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
The only bad thing about this book is that I can't read it aloud to my kids. Two pages in and I'm bawling my eyes out, anticipating the ending. There is no more perfect compliment to this tale than Polacco's signature artwork.
Tina Smith
Jan 19, 2015 Tina Smith rated it it was amazing
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Cami Putnam
Jan 15, 2015 Cami Putnam rated it it was amazing
I was just introduced to this author and book by my youngest son's 2nd grade teacher. The two of us snuggled up last night and read three of her books. I can't believe that my oldest son is 21 and the book fanatic that I am I have never read her books. Delightful, endearing and I couldn't read any of them with dry eyes.

This story is about inspiration of what to do when a wall in the church is damaged because of a harsh winter storm and the miracles that happen because that inspiration is follow
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Polacco is most certainly one of the best, if not the best, storytellers of all time. Her illustrations compliment her beautifully crafted story.

This is not your average Christmas story. Jonathan Jefferson Weeks did not believe that everything happens for a reason, he thought it was bad luck that his family had to move from beautiful Memphis to dreary Detroit. His father is a pastor and accepted a position in Detroit because he knew he could bring the Church to life...and they did. But a winter
Jaclyn Giordano
Feb 22, 2010 Jaclyn Giordano rated it really liked it
Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco is a picture book intended for readers in grades three through six. I gave it four stars. Jonathan Jefferson Weeks, a young boy, and his family have moved from Tennessee to Detroit so that his father could work at and fix up a church. Jonathan is frustrated by the move, but with hard work and determination, the church is made beautiful again. However, just before Christmas mass, a snowstorm causes a large gaping hole in the wall of the sacristy. Through Jo ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Gale rated it liked it
“Historical Memories Stitched with Love”

Combining elements of sacred Christmas themes with Jewish religious celebration and history this picture book presents a rewarding story of which examines the possibility that random negative acts and events may still result in positive results. A “PK” Jonathan Weeks is bummed that his preacher father ahs been relocated from sunny Tennessee, where they enjoyed a thriving congregation in a nice church to rural Michigan. He and his sister are disappointed by
Dec 11, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Just when I think that Patricia Polacco couldn't possibly have written another tearjerker that tugs ever so mightily at the heartstrings, here she goes again. I discovered this book at our local library as it was displayed for the coming holidays and I was thrilled to find yet another of her tales that we hadn't yet read. I wasn't ready for the ride this one took us on, that's for sure.

It was a story of miracles, of God, of fate or kismet or whatever you want to call it. But it was a story of w
Nov 22, 2015 Ema rated it really liked it
Heart warming story about a family from Tennessee beginning a new life in Detroit. One day they find a tapestry in an antique store that unravels a wonderful story. I read it to my kids and although some concepts were a little over their heads, (dealing with WWII) they very much enjoyed the story.
Dec 19, 2014 D. rated it it was amazing
While all of Patricia Polacco's books tug at the heartstrings - this one just rips them right out! And I love her artwork. Her characters are so full of emotion and life. She paints a time and place that are amazingly evocative of a unifying human experience.
Dec 04, 2014 Bethe rated it really liked it
Another beautiful holiday story, based this time not on the author's family, but on true stories Polacco heard during church homilies. Not only for Christmastime, this book would fit well in a Holocaust unit. Have a kleenex handy.
Danielle Harriger
Sep 01, 2012 Danielle Harriger rated it really liked it
PB 25: I appreciated this tale because it possessed many great qualities for a children’s book. I loved the descriptions that Polacco gave to create the atmosphere of the holiday season. The vivid details, along with the beautifully sketched images allowed me to immerse myself in the book. I found the book to be most powerful at the end where all the individual stories became woven together. I think it is a magical holiday tale that highlights the importance of hope and behaving altruistically ( ...more
Dec 27, 2014 Alvera rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and illustrated with both an eye to the mysteries of the seasons of life and to realism and treating those around us gently and with respect despite their traditions. <3
Debra  Golden
Apr 05, 2016 Debra Golden rated it it was amazing
I found this one quite touching. People and a tapestry lost and so many years later found. A bit of a Christmas miracle with much healing and love that bridges religions.
Dec 30, 2015 Lorna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Everyone should read this book. It's a favorite of mine since it was published in 2002. I never tire of the story and the important message it gives.
Jan 04, 2016 Ann rated it really liked it
I so want this story to be true! Interesting illustrations and a heartwarming story of new beginnings, Christmas, and meeting up with the past.
Kristine Hansen
Once again, Ms. Polacco is drawing on true events to craft a beautiful story about holidays and people who reach out across cultural difference to find out something about each other, and about themselves.

This has to do with being in a new place, and trying to make the best of a maybe not so great situation. A bit of tapestry links people in interesting and unique ways and gives a surprise ending to the story that satisfies. I love visiting the world of the author's past, and thoroughly love the
Denae Christine
A cute tale of God bringing together families at Christmas. Just because things don't go the way you planned doesn't mean God isn't in control.
Mar 10, 2014 Sandra rated it it was amazing
It will only take a few minutes to read this children's book but it wonderful. I recommend it to read even if you don't have a child to read it to.
L13F_Jana Wilkening
Apr 19, 2013 L13F_Jana Wilkening rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Patricia Polacco and her family have led the most amazing life. I am an avid reader of her picture books, and am always amazed by the reveal on the last page that the story is true and based on her life, her mother, her grandmother, neighbor, friend, etc... She is an incredible story-teller who clearly values the truth in the stories she tells. This is another beautifully written narrative about love, loss, and serendipitous luck. After what seems like a nightmare problem (a hole in the church r ...more
Jul 15, 2015 Janae rated it it was amazing
Get the Kleenex ready! Beautiful story of hope, friendship, and lost love. Gets me every time!
Nancy St. Clair
Dec 29, 2011 Nancy St. Clair rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-alouds, picture
Make sure you have a box of tissues close by when you begin reading this book.

Based upon a "tale" that was told to the author some years ago, it is a heartwarming story of a young man trying to cope with a recent move from his hometown to Detroit. While struggling to make sense of things, it just so happens that at Christmas time God uses a water-damaged wall, a car that wouldn't start, a "used" tapestry, a chance meeting at a bus stop, along with Jonathan and his father to reunite a married Je

Feb 15, 2012 JaNeal rated it it was amazing
My goal is to have a good Christmas list created next year so I'm reading several of them off season. This is my first gotta-put-it-on-my-goodreads-Christmas-list book.

Christmas Tapestry is a lovely story created from two separate stories that were told as true (see notes at the end). The story is a reminder that hard things can be a blessing in the hands of God. The story is complex enough that it probably isn't a fit for the youngest listeners. Still, it has much to offer to the older child o
Dec 10, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Fun and magical story for young and not so young! Loved it!
Alysa Amberson
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