CHICKEN SUNDAY by Patricia Polacco
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 9
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Drawing on her Oakland childhood, Polacco tells a wonderful story about helping her beat friends get an Easter hat for "gramma." Unlike the narrator, Miss Eula and her two grandsons are Baptists; they're also, in Polacco's vibrantly individual pictorial characterizations, African-Americans. But because of "a solemn ceremony we had performed in their backyard," Stewart and Winston are her brothers; and since "my babushka had died," she also thinks of Miss Eula as her gamma. Hoping to earn the hat Miss Eula admires, the three approach old Mr. Kodinski at the hat shop, only to be angrily mistaken for the vandals who've just hurled eggs at his door. But dismay changes to hope with the idea of making Kodinski some beautifully decorated Pysanky eggs as a peace offering. Deeply touched, as much by their "chutzpah" as by the reminder of his Ukrainian homeland, Kodinski lets them sell additional eggs in his shop--and then presents the lovely hat to Miss Eula as a gift. Polacco has outdone herself in these joyful, energetic illustrations, her vibrant colors even richer and more intense than usual, while authentic details--real photos of Miss Eula's family, a samovar and devotional pictures in her own home, even the creative disarray of telephone wires on the dedication page--enhance the interest. A unique piece of Americana, as generously warm as Miss Eula herself, with her glorious singing voice "like slow thunder and sweet rain." (Picture book. 4-9)

Pub Date: March 25th, 1992
ISBN: 0-399-22133-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1992


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