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The Trees of the Dancing Goats

The Trees of
the Dancing Goats
by Patricia Polacco

book summary, DRA and Lexile
levels, a peek inside, and more

The Trees of the Dancing Goats is another touching story drawn from author/illustrator Patricia Polacco's childhood memories. In the story, Hanukkah was coming, and little Trisha and her family were busy getting ready for the season in their traditional native Russian way. Her Babuska and Grandpa are at her family's Michigan farm house for the holidays, and she and her brother enjoyed watching as they hand-dip candles, cook latkes, and carve children gifts of little wooden animals.

But the celebration is put on hold when many of their Christian neighbors get scarlet fever and it becomes clear that those families were not going to have much of Christmas that year. In a sweet gesture of service, Trisha's family decides to bring Christmas to them, including Christmas trees and food baskets. "Polacco's warmly detailed illustrations enrich this tender tale about the true nature of giving, of being good neighbors, and of celebration." (School Library Journal) A nice choice for teaching service and giving during the holidays.

Book Details

Reading Stats
Interest Level:  K-Gr.4        DRA Level: 28
Reading Level:  age 4-8      Lexile Measure: 630L

Great for teaching 
service / helping others / self-sacrifice (Character Educ.)
Christmas and Hanukkah (Holidays)

Awards & Rating

Avg Amazon Customer Rating: 
5 stars (12 reviews)
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

Peek Inside
Below is a spread from inside The Trees of the Dancing Goats. Fans of Polacco will recognize her trademark illustration style in the spread below. This spread takes place in the beginning of the book, when Grandpa and Babushka have arrived to join the family in celebrating the holidays in their traditional Russian Jewish manner. The text explains that their family didn't celebrate the holidays like many of their neighbors did (Christmas), but they were full of anticipation just the same.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

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The Trees of the Dancing Goats
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