The Real Hole

Overview

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.

With interference and suggestions from his twin sister Janet, four-year-old Jimmy sets out to dig the biggest hole in the world.

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Overview

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.

With interference and suggestions from his twin sister Janet, four-year-old Jimmy sets out to dig the biggest hole in the world.

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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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688147419
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition description: 1 MULBERRY
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 580L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 9.94 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Cleary
Beverly Cleary
New readers find a friend in Beverly Cleary, who displays an uncanny understanding of kid life in Ramona Quimby, Age 8, Henry Huggins, and other titles in her classic series of books about life on Klickitat Street -- books that hold up decade after decade.

Biography

Beverly Cleary was inadvertently doing market research for her books before she wrote them, as a young children’s librarian in Yakima, Washington. Cleary heard a lot about what kids were and weren’t responding to in literature, and she thought of her library patrons when she later sat down to write her first book.

Henry Huggins, published in 1950, was an effort to represent kids like the ones in Yakima and like the ones in her childhood neighborhood in Oregon. The bunch from Klickitat Street live in modest houses in a quiet neighborhood, but they’re busy: busy with rambunctious dogs (one Ribsy, to be precise), paper routes, robot building, school, bicycle acquisitions, and other projects. Cleary was particularly sensitive to the boys from her library days who complained that they could find nothing of interest to read – and Ralph and the Motorcycle was inspired by her son, who in fourth grade said he wanted to read about motorcycles. Fifteen years after her Henry books, Cleary would concoct the delightful story of a boy who teaches Ralph to ride his red toy motorcycle.

Cleary’s best known character, however, is a girl: Ramona Quimby, the sometimes difficult but always entertaining little sister whom Cleary follows from kindergarten to fourth grade in a series of books. Ramona is a Henry Huggins neighbor who, with her sister, got her first proper introduction in Beezus and Ramona, adding a dimension of sibling dynamics to the adventures on Klickitat Street. Cleary’s stories, so simple and so true, deftly portrayed the exasperation and exuberance of being a kid. Finally, an author seemed to understand perfectly about bossy/pesty siblings, unfair teachers, playmate politics, the joys of clubhouses and the perils of sub-mattress monsters.

Cleary is one of the rare children’s authors who has been able to engage both boys and girls on their own terms, mostly through either Henry Huggins or Ramona and Beezus. She has not limited herself to those characters, though. In 1983, she won the Newbery Medal with Dear Mr. Henshaw, the story of a boy coping with his parents’ divorce, as told through his journal entries and correspondence with his favorite author. She has also written a few books for older girls (Fifteen, The Luckiest Girl, Sister of the Bride, and Jean and Johnny) mostly focusing on first love and family relationships. A set of books for beginning readers stars four-year-old twins Jimmy and Janet.

Some of Cleary’s books – particularly her titles for young adults – may seem somewhat alien to kids whose daily lives don’t feature soda fountains, bottles of ink, or even learning cursive. Still, the author’s stories and characters stand the test of time; and she nails the basic concerns of childhood and adolescence. Her books (particularly the more modern Ramona series, which touches on the repercussions of a father’s job loss and a mother’s return to work) remain relevant classics.

Cleary has said in an essay that she wrote her two autobiographical books, A Girl from Yamhill and My Own Two Feet, "because I wanted to tell young readers what life was like in safer, simpler, less-prosperous times, so different from today." She has conveyed that safer, simpler era -- still fraught with its own timeless concerns -- to children in her fiction as well, more than half a century after her first books were released.

Good To Know

Word processing is not Cleary's style. She writes, "I write in longhand on yellow legal pads. Some pages turn out right the first time (hooray!), some pages I revise once or twice and some I revise half-a-dozen times. I then attack my enemy the typewriter and produce a badly typed manuscript which I take to a typist whose fingers somehow hit the right keys. No, I do not use a computer. Everybody asks."

Cleary usually starts her books on January 2.

Up until she was six, Cleary lived in Yamhill, Oregon -- a town so small it had no library. Cleary's mother took up the job of librarian, asking for books to be sent from the state branch and lending them out from a lodge room over a bank. It was, Clearly remembers, "a dingy room filled with shabby leather-covered chairs and smelling of stale cigar smoke. The books were shelved in a donated china cabinet. It was there I made the most magical discovery: There were books written especially for children!"

Cleary authored a series of tie-in books in the early 1960s for classic TV show Leave It to Beaver.

Cleary's books appear in over 20 countries in 14 languages.

Cleary's book The Luckiest Girl is based in part on her own young adulthood, when a cousin of her mother's offered to take Beverly for the summer and have her attend Chaffey Junior College in Ontario, California. Cleary went from there to the University of California at Berkeley.

The actress Sarah Polley got her start playing Ramona in the late ‘80s TV series. Says Cleary in a Q & A on her web site: “I won’t let go of the rights for television productions unless I have script approval. There have been companies that have wanted the movie rights to Ramona, but they won’t let me have script approval, and so I say no. I did have script approval for the television productions of the Ramona series…. I thought Sarah Polley was a good little actress, a real little professional.”

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    1. Also Known As:
      Beverly Atlee Bunn (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Carmel, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 12, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      McMinnville, Oregon
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of California-Berkeley, 1938; B.A. in librarianship, University of Washington (Seattle), 1939

Read an Excerpt

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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