Holes in the Sky
Holes in the Sky
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Annotation: Soon after her beloved grandmother's death, Trisha's family moves to a diverse California neighborhood. There, she meets Stewart and his grandmother, Miss Eula, who brings people together to help a grieving neighbor.
Catalog Number: #168148
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-524-73948-0 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-2574-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-524-73948-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-2574-3
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2017060128
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
On a starry night, Patricia's babushka shares that she'll soon leave through "holes in the sky" and promises to watch over them from heaven. After Babushka's passing, Patricia and her family move to Oakland. There she meets African American Stewart and his grandma, Miss Eula (from Chicken Sunday), who becomes Patricia's stand-in grandmother. Based on Polacco's childhood, this is an emotively illustrated tribute to grandmothers both lost and found.
Kirkus Reviews
Trisha looks for signs from her grandmother in the sky but finds them closer than expected. Trisha's comfortably zaftig Russian grandmother tells her that stars are really "holes in the sky," with the light of heaven gleaming through them. She says that she will be there soon but will watch over them, and she will send a sign to let them know. After Babushka dies, Trisha's all-white family moves to the diverse city of Oakland, California, and Trisha becomes best friends with a black boy named Stewart. Stewart brings Trisha home to meet his grandmother Eula, a woman who cooks and gardens and whose shape echoes Babushka's. Miss Eula mentions that Verna Bacci's garden used to be the most beautiful on the block, before she lost her son in a terrible accident. The three of them decide to do something nice for Miss Verna, and the whole neighborhood pitches in. While Trisha has been searching the sky every night for a sign from Babushka, Miss Verna gets a sign from her son that they all can see. In the end, Miss Eula dabs vanilla behind Trisha's ears just like Babushka used to, and Trisha realizes that her sign has been right in front of her. Polacco's signature illustration style in sketched pencil and color emphasizes the relationships among people, just as the text celebrates the power of connection and the miracle of love in unexpected places. Sweet and comforting. (Picture book. 5-10)
Publishers Weekly
This follow-up to Chicken Sunday again features Miss Eula and child Trisha, based on Polacco-s childhood self. Polacco describes Trisha-s loss of her beloved Babushka-who tells her before she dies that stars are holes in the sky that lead to heaven, and that she promises to send her a sign. After a move to a diverse neighborhood in drought-ravaged California, Trisha befriends a boy named Stewart; his grandmother is the exuberant, loving Miss Eula. Despite the drought, Eula grows a magnificent garden using recycled water, and Trisha is inspired to bring that beauty to a mourning neighbor. In this autobiographical story, Polacco explores complex responses to grief; the beauty of community, diversity, and goodwill shines through her unmistakable marker-and-pencil-line illustrations. Ages 6-9. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 Polacco plumbs the seemingly endless nooks and crannies of her childhood to come up with another picture book to inspire warm feelings of community and caring. This one tells about her family's relocation from Michigan to California after the death of her beloved Babushka. Patty's new neighbor, Stewart, insists on befriending her and introduces her to his grandmother, Miss Eula, a consummate gardener and bulwark of their neighborhood. With Miss Eula, the children embark on a mission of activism to restore a neglected garden and embrace an embittered, grief-stricken resident. Polacco's emotion-laden pencil and watercolor illustrations bleed off the pages, just as her own warmth and affection for humanity overflow in the text. It is, perhaps, a bit hard to credit the many parallels she draws between her own grandmother and Stewart'sas if straining to show that a Russian immigrant and a Black Oakland resident are more alike than notbut many readers will appreciate her motives and welcome the notion that stars are the holes in the sky through which departed love ones keep watch over us. VERDICT Most libraries will welcome Polacco's message of understanding and mutual affection. The length of the narrative seems to suggest a one-on-one read. Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (9/1/18)
Word Count: 2,651
Reading Level: 4.2
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.2 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 197007 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.5 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q75420
Lexile: 730L
Guided Reading Level: O

Miss Eula is back! In this heartwarming companion to Chicken Sunday, young Trisha is devastated when her grandmother passes away, but finds joy in bonds with a new friend, her new California neighborhood—and the invincible Miss Eula.

There will never be anyone like her grandmother, Patricia Polacco thinks, when her grandmother passes away. But when she and her family move to California—in the middle of a drought—she meets a new friend, the irrepressible Stewart, and his amazing grandmother, Miss Eula, who not only takes Trisha under her wing, but, with Trisha and Stewart, steps up to lead their entire extraordinarily diverse neighborhood to help a hurting neighbor—and her once lush garden—survive the drought.
     Trisha's grandmother's old saying about the stars being Holes in the Sky turns out to be Miss Eula's, too, convincing Trisha that she has miraculously discovered another unforgettable grandmother.

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