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Christmas Tapestry

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  661 ratings  ·  61 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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Community Reviews

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Brittaney Reed
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
...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 12, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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Patti
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
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Tanya W
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.
Tina Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cami Putnam
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
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Randie
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
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Jaclyn Giordano
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
Gale
“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
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Dolly
Dec 11, 2011 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
...more
D.
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.
Bethe
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
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
Alvera
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
Sandra
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
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
Karen
We read this book every Christmas. I still cry each time. Patricia Polacco is one of our favorite authors.
Nancy St. Clair
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

...more
JaNeal
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
...more
Jessica
Beautifully written. Fun and magical story for young and not so young! Loved it!
Lisa
The story of a pastor and his family, and their move to Detroit to help revitalize the church in the area. When there is damage to the main wall after a blizzard, the parson's son, Jonathan, doesn't think there is anything that can fix it before Christmas. He and his father go to town to find decorations for the church, and through a serious of seeming coincidences, they end up being part of a true Christmas miracle. A beautiful tapestry they find to cover the damage reconnects two people who ha ...more
Ishki
Makes me cry every single time I read it.
Gina
A middle school student lent this to me, very excited that she had something to share for our Holocaust unit. I've heard the story before through emails, but it was cool to see it told through Patricia Polacco's illustrated children's book. It reminds us that one never knows what the universe has in mind for us and that things we see as problems may very well turn out to fantastic. I read this to my 3rd grader and had to carefully avoid detailed discussion of the Nazis, but she loved the story!
Julie
I'm positively biased toward Polacco's story-telling and illustrations (so uniquely her own), but this was a particularly moving story. My 4-year-old was not quite ready for this yet, but I predict within the year she'll better appreciate it. Just an FYI, the book deals with the topic of the Holocaust, and it's quite emotional. By "quite emotional," I mean that I was sobbing uncontrollably at the end of the book.
Janet
I am a fan of Polacco's illustrations and some in this title are fine, but the text was forced for me, too long for the format, and overall just unappealing. This is that inbetween format of the picture book for the older child that most of the time is not presented to its audience. The language would be awkward to read aloud, it just didn't flow.
Stacey
Snuggled up with Eli on the couch, this book made me cry "happy tears"--as Emma says. Eli said his teacher had read this story at school with a different title (made me want to check it out on snopes.com--not that it claims truth) touching, nonetheless. One I would like to revisit.
Sam
Wow, this book was not at all what I expected, and that was a very good thing. This was a beautiful story of a Christmas miracle, as well as a Hanukkah miracle. Both faiths were presented well at this wonderful time of year.
Doree Burt
Our copy is another un-bound ugly publisher proof that is just too good to keep boxed up. I love Polacco, even though some find her sappy. This is a beautiful story of tradition and two faiths coming together in holy celebration.
MissInformation
I like holiday stories with substance. In this "christmas" miracle story- a tapestry used to cover damage at the holiday becomes the source of a joyous reunion of holocaust survivors. Meaningful, yet accessible for kids.
Jessica
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.
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