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Christmas Tapestry

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  1,250 Ratings  ·  100 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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Lisa Vegan
Jan 12, 2010 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
Andrea Hussey
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brittaney Reed
Feb 10, 2014 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
3.5 rounded up to 4 stars. A pastor's family moves to a new area and sets about improving their church. A tapestry bought to cover damage on the church wall and a chance meeting provide an interesting twist to the story. The note at the end of the book suggests it could have been based on a true story which makes that part all the more lovely and moving.

The illustrations for us did spoil the story. They are an odd mix of loose and comical and in places quite detailed which I don't think works. W
Tanya W
Jan 27, 2013 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.
Paige Cuthbertson
Dec 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Super sweet story! I just wish the author hadn’t made the Christians in the book shy away from referring to things as God’s plan. I think there were two or three references to the “Universe unfolding” and only one made to God having a plan. Other than that, it’s a very sweet, touching story for children.
Nov 26, 2010 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.
Jan 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
The sketching of the illustrations is very relaxed in this book--with the rough, penciled outlines still very much visible. An extremely heart-warming tale to share with children around the holidays.
Jaclyn Giordano
Feb 21, 2010 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 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
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
Nov 23, 2014 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
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book. I cry as I read so many of her books.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: christmas
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
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
Oct 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Alas, I really wanted to like this book. I love Patricia Polacco's illustrations and her goat books are so sweet. However, this book is just the kind of Christmas tripe I cannot stand. The Christmas picture book market frustrates me excessively!

The style of writing is akin to that of a cheesy Hallmark Christmas movie but then at the end of the book the author shares that the story is one that has been told (with no source) from multiple pulpits—effectively confessing that it has been conjured u
Tricia Gleason
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read it and it made me research to find out if it was a true story. Apparently it was based on a story reported to be true by Readers Digest in the 1950's. Details were changed (the original was of a much younger couple who find each other within a few years after the war and are brought back together by a unique tapestry type cloth that somehow made its way from Germany and shows up in the US. Read this aloud to my students and they absolutely loved it. The story seems a bit slow to really ge ...more
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Patricia Polacco gets me each and every time I read one of her books. I cried tears of sorrow and then tears of joy as the events that take place in this tale are woven together beautifully as each thread that creates the beautiful Christmas Tapestry.

A beautiful story - shared by a master storyteller and illustrator. Brilliant and beautifully illustrates what we long for during this special season - true connections and true community.
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Normally I put picture books on my “children’s book “ shelf, but this one is really for the older crowd (at least upper elementary grades and up). The intersecting stories will be lost on a younger reader/listener. I had to attempt to look up whether or not this story is based on real events, but am still not sure, though I hope it is true. It’s one that made my heart swell.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I knew nothing about this book when Emily asked me to read it to her. It seemed more thoughtful than many picture books as we began. The storyline took me completely by surprise and soon Emily was asking, "Mommy, why are you crying?" It's a beautiful story.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books, non-norm
This tale almost brought me to tears. Things happen as they are meant to, and often times no one can see an event's importance until it is much later, perhaps even decades. This was heartwarming and perfect for the time of Christmas.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Why is this called The Christmas Tapestry? A woman painstakingly embroiders this for her wedding with the hopes that she will use it to welcome her children, but a boy finds it in an antique store, and somehow it's still a "Christmas" tapestry, even though she doesn't celebrate Christmas? Okay...
Tommy Schlosser
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: want-to-own-kids
Would have been even better if it was non-fiction!
Dec 30, 2015 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.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, christmas
Based on a true story.
Dec 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas-books
Loved this one enough to make it our Christmas Eve book this year. So wonderful. Had heard bones of story before, but this retelling was a job well done. Very sweet. Family liked it.
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-ya
this wasn't my favorite of hers. While it was enjoyable, it felt a little too contrived. I guess you never know, though! Sometimes the world is very small.
Cried like a baby. So many themes tied seemlessly, poignantly together Polacco-style.
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