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Richie and Trisha's family is spending their last Christmas on the family farm before Grandpa sells it. With no money to buy gifts and the sad thought that it is their last Christmas at home, everyone's spirits are dampened. But when a new housekeeper named Kay Lamity arrives, she is determined to turn things around and teach these kids in the power of believing and giving true gifts of the heart.
Beloved author-illustrator Patricia Polacco’s holiday story is a wonderful ode to the magic of family, Christmas, and giving the right kind of gifts—gifts filled with love.
Richie and Trisha want to buy Christmas gifts for their family, but they don't have enough money. Enter Kay Lamity, a new housekeeper . . . but is that all she is? She comes into their lives like a whirlwind, brimming with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Kay not only straightens them out when it comes to whether or not Santa Claus is real, she teaches them something about gifts: the just-good-enough kind that come from the pocketbook and the unforgettable kind that come from the heart. Because of Kay, Trisha and Richie—and the family—have a Christmas morning they will never forget.
Celebrating the joy of homemade gifts, Patricia Polacco introduces readers to a new character who is truly a force of nature in this story reminiscent of Christmas Tapestry and An Orange for Frankie. This is a magical Christmas story the author swears is true, right down to the sleigh tracks on the farmhouse roof!
Each year, Patricia Polacco (www.patriciapolacco.com), beloved creator of over fifty picture books, including Christmas Tapestry and An Orange for Frankie, visits classrooms all over the United States. But Christmastime is a special time of giving for Patricia, who fills her old-timey Union City, Michigan, home with the holiday: Christmas trees decorated with timeless baubles in every room and garlands of pine on the railings and mantels. A highlight is when Santa himself stops by a Christmas party at the village firehouse, accompanied by a real reindeer, to give gifts to the children of the village. In some ways Patricia herself is Kay Lamity, a witty, loving woman who understands what a real gift means.
“Polacco’s distinctive illustrations are filled with the usual cozy kitchens, snowy farm scenes and appealing children, but it’s Kay Lamity who stands out as the shining star of this touching, longer story. The story has humor, deeper meaning and a mystery as to Kay Lamity’s true identity.” Kirkus Reviews
“A familiar Polacco story of family warmth, this time with a touch of magic. . . . A story of longings, not just for gifts but for people and places that are gone or soon will be. . . . Bright patterns in fabric and setting provide additional warmth even when snowflakes are interspersed. Emphasizing human connections, Polacco’s holiday story is quietly charming.” Booklist
“Reminiscent of Chris Van Allsburg’s classic The Polar Express, this delightfully old-fashioned story reaffirms a child’s belief in Santa Claus. . . . Deftly drawn pencil and marker illustrations eloquently portray Trisha’s nostalgic childhood world of cinnamon gumdrops, toy-store windows, and Santa parades, enhancing the warmth and charm of the story. Children will want to hear Gifts of the Heart every holiday season.” School Library Journal