Chicken Sunday
Chicken Sunday

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Annotation: To thank old Eula for her wonderful Sunday chicken dinners, the children sell decorated eggs and buy her a beautiful Easter hat.
Catalog Number: #51308
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition Date: 1998
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-698-11615-1 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-6722-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-698-11615-3 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-6722-4
Dewey: E
LCCN: 91016030
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
The author draws from a childhood experience as she recalls how she and two African-American friends create an ingenious plan to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, a lady well known for her wonderful chicken dinners. This loving, multicultural, and intergenerational experience is made richer by visually delightful illustrations, some with actual photographs imposed on a painted background.
Kirkus Reviews
Drawing on her Oakland childhood, Polacco tells a wonderful story about helping her best 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. <p> Drawing on her Oakland childhood, Polacco tells a wonderful story about helping her best 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 gramma. 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)</p> "
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- Despite the differences in religion, sex, and race, Winston and Stewart Washington are young Patricia's best friends, and she considers their grandmother, Miss Eula, a surrogate since her own ``babushka'' died. On Sundays, she often attends Baptist services with her friends, and Miss Eula fixes a sumptuous fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings, after stopping to admire the hats in Mr. Kodinski's shop. The youngsters hope to buy her one, but when they approach the merchant looking for work, he mistakenly accuses them of pelting his shop with eggs. To prove their innocence, the children hand-dye eggs in the folk-art style that Patricia's grandmother had taught her and present them to the milliner. Moved by the rememberance of his homeland, the Russian Jewish emigre encourages the children to sell the ``Pysanky'' eggs in his shop and rewards their industry with a gift of the hat, which Miss Eula proudly wears on Easter Sunday. Polacco's tale resonates with the veracity of a personal recollection and is replete with vivid visual and visceral images. Her unique illustrative style smoothly blends detailed line drawing, impressionistic painting, primitive felt-marker coloring, and collage work with actual photographs, resulting in a feast for the eyes as filling as Miss Eula's Chicken Sunday spreads. The palette is equally varied, while the application of color is judiciously relieved by sporadic pencil sketches. An authentic tale of childhood friendship. --Dorothy Houlihan, formerly at White Plains Pub . Lib . , NY
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Polacco's picture books, based on events in her childhood, have an engaging homeyness that makes each new one as welcome as a letter from an old friend. Springing from reminiscence, they transform memories through the storyteller's art.In this story, Polacco recalls the days when she took Winston and Stewart, two African American neighbor boys, as her brothers by a solemn ceremony we had performed in their backyard one summer. They weren't the same religion as I was. They were Baptists. Their gramma, Eula Mae Walker, was my gramma now. My babushka had died two summers before. Those familiar with Polacco's books will remember her babushka as the Russian-born grandmother who helped overcome her fear of storms, in Thunder CakeUnited in loving Miss Eula, the three children decide to earn the money to buy her the Easter hat she yearns for, but when they go to Mr. Kodinsky's shop, he mistakes them for the vandals who have pelted his door with eggs, and he calls Miss Eula to complain. Struggling for her sake to earn back his respect, the children make him a basket of Pysanky decorated eggs (commonly known as Ukranian Easter eggs). Chutzpah, you have chutzpah! he says, inviting them for tea and sharing memories of his Russian homeland, which the decorated eggs have inspired. Then he gives them the bonnet for Miss Eula, saying Tell her that I know you are very good children, such good children!As formal and dramatic as a series of tableaux, the well-composed, double-page spreads portray a variety of settings, characters, and emotions with sensitivity. The deep, warm tones are lit with bright colors and varied patterns. Details such as the Last Supper fan at the Baptist church, the photographs of children and grandchildren in Miss Eula's home, and the framed icons at Patricia's house give the story a strong sense of place, or rather, of several distinct and well-defined places.Polacco deftly weaves the strands of the individuals' lives and traditions together into a tapestry that is the child's life: new, yet enriched by the cultural diversity of her world. Miss Eula's hymn singing like slow thunder and sweet rain comes from one tradition, Patricia's kitchen drawer of egg-decorating supplies from another, the reference to Mr. Kodinsky's hard life and the numbers stenciled on his arm (never mentioned, never explained, yet there for the curious reader to ask about) from yet another. Each adds threads to the pattern of individual histories that color the story at hand without interrupting the flow of the narrative.Though ethnic differences too often divide and even destroy people, this first-person narrative merges various traditions with the innocent acceptance of childhood. In this moving picture book, the hatred sometimes engendered by racial and religious differences is overpowered by the love of people who recognize their common humanity. In strident and divisive times, here is a quiet, confident voice of hope. (Reviewed Mar. 15, 1992)
Word Count: 1,361
Reading Level: 3.7
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.7 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 6108 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.8 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q02101
Lexile: 650L
Guided Reading Level: N
Fountas & Pinnell: N

After being initiated into a neighbor's family by a solemn backyard ceremony, a young Russian American girl and her African American brothers' determine to buy their gramma Eula a beautiful Easter hat. But their good intentions are misunderstood, until they discover just the right way to pay for the hat that Eula's had her eye on. A loving family story woven from the author's childhood.

 

"Polacco has outdone herself with these joyful, energetic illustrations, her vibrant colors even richer and more intense than usual, while authentic details enhance the interest. A unique piece of Americana." --Kirkus Reviews, pointer review

"In this moving picture book, the hatred sometimes engendered by racial and religious differences is overpowered by the love of people who recognize their common humanity." --Booklist, starred, boxed review

"The text conveys a tremendous pride of heritage as it brims with rich images from her characters' African American and Russian Jewish cultures--A tribute to the strength of all family bonds." --Publishers Weekly, starred review


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