I CAN HEAR THE SUN by Patricia Polacco


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 10
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Polacco (Babushka's Mother Goose, 1995, etc.) adds to her list of memorable characters in this somewhat mawkish tale of throwaway (homeless) people, a blind goose, and a park keeper named Stephanie Michele. The orphan Fondo spends his summer days sitting on a park bench in a nature preserve on Merritt Lake, watching the homeless people and the geese. Stephanie Michele, a big-hearted, middle-aged African-American woman, welcomes and befriends Fondo. She teaches him to help her care for the geese, shows him a blind goose who needs a little special help, and gives him an official park shirt. The goose becomes Fondo's special charge; in fact, he spends so much time caring for the geese that the throwaway people tease, "Pretty soon, you're gonna turn into a goose!" When Fondo learns he will be sent away as a "special needs" child, he wishes he could fly away with the geese--and does. The title page calls this story "A Modern Myth," but most of its elements are too grounded in reality to achieve mythic status. The most fanciful aspects may be the cute bag lady and jolly Vietnam vet. Polacco's characteristic illustrations in warm brown, peach, and green, capture the vulnerability of the unwanted boy, the beauty of the wild geese, and the solid strength and loving warmth of Stephanie Michele. If only the rest of the book were as real as she is. (Picture book. 4-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1996
ISBN: 0-399-22520-X
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1996


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