The Real Hole

The Real Hole

by Beverly Cleary, DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan

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Father comes to the rescue when the twins can't agree about what to do with the big hole in the backyard. "Deftly captures the quirks of youngsters leaving toddlerhood behind."—Booklist.  See more details below


Father comes to the rescue when the twins can't agree about what to do with the big hole in the backyard. "Deftly captures the quirks of youngsters leaving toddlerhood behind."—Booklist.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
ea. vol: illus. by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan. unpaged. CIP. Greenwillow. Mar. 1986. PSS $10.25; PLB $10.88. PreS-Gr 2 Two all-but-forgotten picture books have been reissued after 25 years with bright new watercolor and crayon illustrations. Jimmy and Janet are four-year-old twins who are learning about the world. The Real Hole introduces them: imaginative, creative Janet whose flights of fancy enrage the stolid, unromantic Jimmy. Jimmy is unable to see value in pretense and is eager to assume a ``grown-up'' role. Cleary seems to have created a left- and right-brained little pair. Father reconciles their polarities of attitude. When he plants a tree in Jimmy's hole, he is at the same time satisfying Jimmy's urge for realism and truth and Janet's desire for an expression of possibilities. Two Dog Biscuits , although the later story, seems to be describing much younger children, who discover that a cat will eat dog biscuits. Beginning readers will have difficulty reading these stories, but four to seven year olds will enjoy hearing them read aloud . Even libraries that have the original editions should consider adding the new ones to their collections, as DiSalvo-Ryan's lambent illustrations bring the stories gracefully up to date. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School Library, McKinney, Tex. vb.21

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
7.92(w) x 9.94(h) x 0.12(d)
580L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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Chapter One

Henry Goes for a Ride

Henry Huggins had a lot of good ideas that fall when he first had his paper route, but somehow his ideas had a way of not turning out as he had planned. Something always went wrong.

There was, for example, that Saturday afternoon in October, when Henry found himself with nothing to do until it was time to start delivering Journals. Naturally he wandered into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator to see what he could find. At the sound of the door opening, his dog Ribsy and his cat Nosy came running in case he should be planning to feed them.

"Henry, you just ate lunch," said Mrs. Huggins, who had washed her son's slacks and was now struggling to shove metal stretchers into the legs. "Can't you find something to do instead of opening the refrigerator every five minutes?"

"I'm thinking, Mom,"' answered Henry. He was thinking that he would, like to build something, some kind of a house. A doghouse, a tree house or a clubhouse. A tree house would be pretty hard, but he was sure he could build a doghouse or a clubhouse. All he needed was lumber and nails.

"Well, think with the refrigerator door shut," suggested Mrs. Huggins with a smile. She had succeeded in stretching Henry's slacks And now she leaned them, tight on their frames, against the sink. "And please find something to do."'

"O.K., Mom," said Henry, and walked out the back door, in search of something to keep him busy. He considered. He could go over to the Quimby's house and play,checkers with Beezus, a girl whose real name was Beatrice, but her pesty little sister Ramona would probablyspoil the game. He could go see if his friend Murph, who was the smartest boy in the whole school, was building anything interesting in his garage. Or he could try to sell subscriptions to the Journal. That was what he should do, but somehow Henry was not anxious to start ringing strange doorbells. No, what he really wanted to do was build something. He decided to scout around Klickitat Street and see if he could find enough boards for a doghouse. That would be the easiest to build and would not take much lumber.

As Henry walked around the side of his house, he noticed his next-door neighbor's car parked on the driveway with a U-Haul-It trailer attached.

Now that was interesting, thought Henry. What was Rector Grumbie going to haul?

The front door of the Grumbies, house opened, and Mr. Grumbie appeared to be coming out backwards. This was even more interesting. Why didn't Mr. Grumbie walk out frontwards? Bit by bit more of his neighbor appeared, and Henry saw that he was tugging at something.

Henry decided he had better investigate. From the Grumbies' front walk he discovered that Mr. Grumbie was pushing a bathtub out of the house. They were sliding it across the floor on an old blanket.

Mr. Grumbie paused to wipe his forehead. "Whew!" he exclaimed. "These old bathtubs were built like battleships.

"May I help Henry asked eagerly. After all his mother wanted him to find something to do.

"Sure," said Mr. Grumbie. "You can get on the other end and help push"

Henry ran up the steps, and because the bathtub was blocking the door, he climbed into it, out the other side, and joined Mrs. Grumbie in pushing.

Henry was secretly wondering, but was too polite to ask, if the Grumbies were planning to give up bathing. Instead he inquired, "What are you going to do with it?"

"Take it to the dump," answered Mr. Grumbie, "unless you would like to have it. We are remodeling the bathroom and have to get rid of it to make room for the new tub, which will be delivered Monday."

Henry thought it over. There were all sorts of interesting things he could do with a bathtub in his back yard. Wash his dog Ribsy in it, cool off in it himself on a hot day, bob for apples at Halloween. Build a clubhouse around it if he had that much lumber. All sorts of things. A bathtub in the yard would be much more fun than a tub in the bathroom, but Henry was sure his mother would not feel the same way about it.

"No, thank you, Mr. Grumbie," Henry said with regret and then he had a better idea. The new bathtub would come in a crate and perhaps Mr. Grumbie would let him have the boards to build a doghouse.

By that time several neighbors had come over to the Grumbies' to watch. Even Ribsy had taken an interest and had come down from the Huggins doormat where he had been napping. Mr. Grumbie tied a rope around the tub and with the help of Henry and the bystanders who hung onto the rope, eased the tub, bump-bump-bump, down the front steps, slid it across the lawn, and then boosted it onto the trailer, where Mr. Grumbie tied it securely.

"Want to go for a ride to the dump?" Mr. Grumbie asked Henry.

The dump! Immediately Henry pictured a fascinating jumble of old bathtubs, washing machines, tires, and baby buggies. There was no telling what he might find at the dump. There might even be some old boards he could bring home.

"Can I ride in the bathtub?" he asked eagerly.

"Sure." Mr. Grumbie was agreeable. "Go ask your mother."

Henry ran to the open kitchen window. "Hey, Mom! Mr. Grumbie wants me to ride to the dump with him. Can I go?"'

"All right, Henry." Mrs. Huggins' voice came through the window.

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Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary is one of America's most popular authors. Born in McMinnville, Oregon, she lived on a farm in Yamhill until she was six and then moved to Portland. After college, as the children's librarian in Yakima, Washington, she was challenged to find stories for non-readers. She wrote her first book, Henry Huggins, inresponse to a boy's question, "Where are the books about kids like us?"

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the Amercan Library Association's Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature.

Her Dear Mr. Henshaw was awarded the 1984 John Newbery Medal, and both Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and Ramona and Her Father have been named Newbery Honor Books. In addition, her books have won more than thirty-five statewide awards based on the votes of her young readers. Her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. Mrs. Cleary lives in coastal California.

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's books include Grandpa's Corner Store, City Green and Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen. She lives in Philadelphia.

Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon, and, until she was old enough to attend school, lived on a farm in Yamhill, a town so small it had no library. Her mother arranged with the State Library to have books sent to Yamhill and acted as librarian in a lodge room upstairs over a bank. There Mrs. Cleary learned to love books. When the family moved to Portland, where Mrs. Cleary attended grammar school and high school, she soon found herself in the low reading circle, an experience that has given her sympathy for the problems of struggling readers. By the third grade she had conquered reading and spent much of her childhood either with books or on her way to and from the public library. Before long her school librarian was suggesting that she should write for boys and girls when she grew up. The idea appealed to her, and she decided that someday she would write the books she longed to read but was unable to find on the library shelves, funny stories about her neighborhood and the sort of children she knew.

After graduation from junior college in Ontario, California, and the University of California at Berkeley, Mrs. Cleary entered the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle. There she specialized in library work with children. She was Children's Librarian in Yakima, Washington, until she married Clarence Cleary and moved to California. The Clearys are the parents of twins, now grown. Mrs. Cleary's hobbies are travel and needlework.

Mrs. Cleary's books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the 1984 John Newbery Medal for Dear Mr. Henshaw, for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children in 1983. Her Ramona and Her Father and Ramona Quimby, Age 8 were named 1978 and 1982 Newbery Honor Books, respectively. Among Mrs. Cleary's other awards are the American Library Association's 1975 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Catholic Library Association's 1980 Regina Medal, and the University of Southern Mississippi's 1982 Silver Medallion, all presented in recognition of her lasting contribution to children's literature. In addition, Mrs. Cleary was the 1984 United States author nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, a prestigious international award. Equally important are the more than 35 statewide awards Mrs. Cleary's books have received based on the direct votes of her young readers. The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden for Children, featuring bronze statues of Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ribsy, was recently opened in Portland, Oregon.

This witty and warm author is truly an international favorite. Mrs. Cleary's books appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages and her characters, including Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spoffordm, and Beezus and Ramona Quimby, as well as Ribsy, Socks, and Ralph S. Mouse, have delighted children for generations. There have been Japanese, Spanish, and Swedish television programs based on the Henry Huggins series. PBS-TV aired a ten-part series based on the Ramona stories. One-hour adaptations of the three Ralph S. Mouse books have been shown on ABC-TV. All of Mrs. Cleary's adaptations still can be seen on cable television, and the Ramona adaptations are available in video stores.

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Brief Biography

Carmel, California
Date of Birth:
April 12, 1916
Place of Birth:
McMinnville, Oregon
B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

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