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Chicken Sunday Paperback – February 9, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reprint edition (February 9, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0698116151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0698116153
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.4 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,015 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Polacco--in the role of young narrator--introduces another cast of characters from her fondly remembered childhood. Brothers Stewart and Winston often invite the girl to join them and their Gramma Eula Mae--whose choir singing is "like slow thunder and sweet rain"--at the Baptist church and to come for Miss Eula's bountiful chicken dinner. When the children hear Miss Eula longing for the fancy Easter bonnet in Mr. Kodinsky's hat shop, they plot to raise the money to buy it for her. Sharing her own family tradition, the narrator teaches the boys how to decorate Russian "pysanky" eggs, that both turn a profit and touch the heart of the crotchety immigrant hatmaker. Without being heavy-handed, Polacco's text conveys a tremendous pride of heritage as it brims with rich images from her characters' African American and Russian Jewish cultures. Her vibrant pencil-and-wash illustrations glow--actual family photographs have been worked into several spreads. Other telling details--Russian icons, flowing choir robes, Mr. Kodinsky's concentration camp tattoo--further embellish this moving story--a tribute to the strength of all family bonds. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Born Patricia Ann Barber in Lansing, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Ukrainian descent on one side and Irish on the other, Patricia Polacco grew up in both California and Michigan. Her school year was spent in Oakland, California, and summers in her beloved Michigan. She describes her family members as marvelous storytellers. "My fondest memories are of sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and the past. We are tenacious traditionalists and sentimentalists.... With each retelling our stories gain a little more Umph!"Studying in the United States and Australia, Patricia Polacco has earned an M.F.A. and a Ph. D. in art history, specializing in Russian and Greek painting, and iconographic history. She is a museum consultant on the restoration of icons. As a participant in many citizen exchange programs for writers and illustrators, Patricia Polacco has traveled extensively in Russia as well as other former Soviet republics. She continues to support programs that encourage Russo-American friendships and understanding. She is also deeply involved in inner-city projects here in the U.S. that promote the peaceful resolution of conflict and encourage art and literacy programs.The mother of a grown son and a daughter, Patricia Polacco currently resides in Michigan, where she has a glorious old farm that was built during the time of Lincoln.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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There is so much, as an adult, to love about this book.
Anna M. Ligtenberg
I encourage teachers of young-intermediate students to read this book to them so they can recognize the many important lessons that can be learned from it.
Amy Chappell
I have always enjoyed Patricia Polacco books and will continue to read them to my loved ones and classes for many, many years to come!
Patrice A. Williams

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Lynne P. Caldwell on March 22, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
CHICKEN SUNDAY is another one of my favorite Polacco books. This is a fabulous and emotionally touching story of an interracial friendship and the children's journey of love and service. Young Patricia (who has written another great episode about her rich and colorful life) and her two best friends Stewart and Winston (who happen to be black) want to buy the boy's gramma (Eula Mae) a hat that she has wanted but could not afford to buy. Since the death of her beloved babushka, Eula Mae also serves as Patricia's surrogate grandmother. The children witness an act of racism on the hat shop owned by the Holocaust survivor Mr. Kodinski. They were going to ask Kodinski for a job to raise the money to buy Eula Mae her favorite hat. Mr. Kodinski sees the children and assumes that they are responsible for the act of violence. Ultimately, the children redeem themselves by making Pysanky eggs for Mr. Kodinski to sell in his store. He tells them the story of his life and then gives the trio the hat. Naturally Eula Mae is thrilled.

CHICKEN SUNDAY is named after the chicken dinner that Eula Mae feed the children every Sunday after Church. This is another multi-cultural book teaching children that it is okay to have friendships with people who are different. Incidentally, Patricia remains close to these boys to this very day. It also exposes children to different types of racism. This book has a wonderful lesson for children and adults.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sherrie Taylor on July 16, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
This author writes stories that really relate to the problems children face in today's society. She has the ability to write in a manner in which the reader feels he or she is being directly talked to at that given moment. A reader can also dig deep within his or her self to find thoughts and memories of happenings. in their lives that directly relate to the events and thoughts of her stories.
This book is about the diversity in the upbringing of children. One must believe that children are still being raised to know right from wrong. Throughout the story the children are being guided by a significant other that has very strong morals and beliefs. The children in turn have held those morals and beliefs to be their backbone in life. The children are kind, caring, helpful, and polite individuals because of their upbringing. They stand up for what they believe is right. All children should have the right to voice their opinion in a positive manner. All people have the right to be heard.
This book can be used in so many ways to teach a variety of lessons. The lessons could be about childhood memories, historical events, family life, customs, places, and different types of people. The strongest lesson to be taught could be on the six pillars of good character. A variety of different uses could be developed in regards to this book.
Children need guidance on how to do something and in what manner it should be done. Teachers and students need to be good role models for one another. This book stresses the importance of being a good person and why.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patrice A. Williams on November 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book speaks volumes . . . especially how a life can be changed forever through a simple act of love and kindness. It seemed that Miss Eula was a beautiful person who just loved and cared for everyone around her by continually demonstrating the true principles of faith, hope, and love.
This book truly emphasizes those things that matter most: a faith in God, a loving family, and good friends.
Chicken Sunday was not only heart-warming and touching, but to me it clearly stated the importance of allowing that little "light" within our hearts to shine no matter what!
This book is an excellent educational tool, and can be easily used in various thematic units such as: family and friends.
I have always enjoyed Patricia Polacco books and will continue to read them to my loved ones and classes for many, many years to come!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a big fan of Patricia Polacco, she's one of my favorite children's author/illustrators. This book lives up to my expectations: Warm, big-hearted pictures seem to burst from its pages--the images fill your heart and mind like old memories brought vividly to life. Ms. Polacco also places real photographs of real neighbors (in Oakland, California) amidst her soft, rolling illustrations, adding the intimacy of a scrapbook to this tale of interracial/intergenerational friendship and love.
After two boys are mistakenly accused by Mr. Kodinsky's shop (Mr. Kodinsky is a Holocaust survivor, look for the faded blue number on his left arm) their grandmother and mother help them make beautifully decorated eggs to show Mr. Kodinsky that they really are good boys. The ensueing bonds of friendship and treasured memories make for a wonderful family reading experience, especially for children attuned (or who need some exposure) to warmth and the joy of giving.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Poignancy, humour, and detail are hallmarks of Polacco's books...and Chicken Sunday shines in all of these. Our girls (5 & 7)loved it so much that they asked for it to be read again as soon as we got to the end. All the telling things of a child's world, including being unfairly accused, secret hidey holes, and longing to show an adult how much they love them, are there. In addition there is a wonderful richness to the language, with images such as "a voice like deep thunder and slow rain".
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