Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mr Wayne's Masterpiece

Cover image for Mr. Wayne's masterpiece
Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece
by Patricia Polacco
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2014. Autobiographical Picture Book

Patricia is smart and a good writer, but so shy she can't read her English paper in front of the class.  Her teacher recommends that she join the drama class.  She is grateful that the drama teacher, Mr. Wayne, starts her out painting scenery, but as she paints she listens and watches  Soon she knows the whole play by heart and was able to prompt the other students when they forget their lines.  When the lead of the play moves away suddenly, Mr. Wayne asks if Patricia can take her part. With a lot of encouragement and support from the teacher and the other students Patricia is able to overcome her shyness and give the performance of her life.  This story is based on a real incident in the author's life.  Ms Polacco finishes the story by expressing gratitude for her marvelous teachers because now, as a famous author, she has to give speeches to thousands of people. Like many of Ms Polacco's picture books, this book is aimed at a middle grade and older audience, and is illustrated with her familiar watercolor and pastels. Polacco fans will welcome this touching story that offers encouragement and hope for those who struggle with shyness or stage fright.

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