An Orange for Frankie

An Orange for Frankie


By (author) Patricia Polacco

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  • Publisher: Philomel Books,U.S.
  • Format: Hardback | 48 pages
  • Dimensions: 258mm x 278mm x 12mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 16 September 2004
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 039924302X
  • ISBN 13: 9780399243028
  • Sales rank: 192,634

Product description

The Stowell family is abuzz with holiday excitement, and Frankie, the youngest boy, is the most excited of all. But there's a cloud over the joyous season: Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and Pa hasn't returned yet from his trip to Lansing. He promised to bring back the oranges for the mantelpiece. Every year there are nine of them nestled among the evergreens, one for each of the children. But this year, heavy snows might mean no oranges . . . and, worse, no Pa! This is a holiday story close to Patricia Polacco's heart. Frankie was her grandmother's youngest brother, and every year she and her family remember this tale of a little boy who learned--and taught--an important lesson about giving, one Christmas long ago

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Editorial reviews

Polacco again mines her family history for a true story based on her grandmother's large family. Frankie is the youngest son in a big family of nine children, with everyone working together on their farm in Michigan. The story takes place during the Christmas when Frankie is ten, when his father is delayed by blizzards when he goes by horse and buggy to buy the oranges for the traditional family Christmas treat. Polacco reveals Frankie's personality through several incidents, one involving the loss of his special orange. Introductory and closing notes introduce the family history and explain that Frankie died following this last Christmas. The longer story provides lots of details of 1900s-era farm life and Christmas celebrations, augmented by Polacco's fine watercolor-and-pencil illustrations of snowy Michigan scenes and the crowded farm house. Told with a sentimental, old-fashioned tone that works well with the setting, this occasionally crosses over into the maudlin, especially in the sections that deal with Frankie's death; Polacco's illustrations, however, are timeless in their portrayal of a happy family enjoying life together. (Picture book. 5-9) (Kirkus Reviews)