cover image I Can Hear the Sun

I Can Hear the Sun

Patricia Polacco. Philomel Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-22520-8

``It started that summer two years ago, the one that steamed into Oakland like a thief in the night''--Polacco's (Pink and Say; Tikvah Means Hope, see p. 133) use of language is characteristically fluid, and her emotion-suffused illustrations are equally compelling. But her ``modern myth'' is problematic: the conflict is modern and realistic while the resolution is mythic and supernatural, and the effect is jarring. The story unfolds in a park where a homeless boy, Fondo, befriends a blind goose, two homeless adults and the park keeper, Stephanie Michele. Their relationships deepen, and Fondo shares with them his belief that ""we all could fly once.... We just forgot how. If we'd think hard enough, we'd remember."" Near the end of the story, when social workers come for Fondo, he flies away, led by the blind goose. ""I know this is a true story because, you see, I know Stephanie Michele,"" the narrator says as the text concludes, compounding the uneasiness in Polacco's mix of gritty problems and miraculous solutions. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)