The Sunday Outing - Ernestine Author:Gloria Jean Pinkney From Publishers Weekly — The Pinkneys team up once again for a prequel to Back Home , this time depicting young Ernestine in her Philadelphia neighborhood just prior to the train trip to North Carolina that is the subject of the earlier book. Ernestine has heard so much about her relatives and Lumberton, N.C., the town where she was born, that sh... more »e's dying to see them. But the journey south costs more than the family can afford, so Ernestine makes do by taking Sunday outings to the train station. There she can watch the cars pull out and dream about being on one. After some artful appeals and money-saving sacrifices, Ernestine's travel fantasy becomes a reality. Gloria Pinkney skillfully captures the fidgety impatience of childhood. Her level-headed adult characters speak knowingly without sounding maudlin. A few colorful phrases and period details, such as riding a trolley and listening to the Sunday Gospel Hour on the radio, give the text an authentic flair. Jerry Pinkney's pale watercolors include several tender, warmly lit portraits. The yellowish-brown backgrounds, unfortunately, add an almost dulling sameness to many scenes. Fans of Back Home will especially enjoy this book, yet it stands on its own as well, affording readers a handsome window onto one family's history. Ages 5-9.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-A companion book to this talented team's Back Home (Dial, 1992). Eight-year-old Ernestine and her Great-Aunt Odessa go to the North Philadelphia Station every Sunday to watch the trains heading south. The woman, whose deceased husband worked for the railroad, always prepares a snack and takes this opportunity to pass reminiscences on to her grandniece. Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Ernestine longs to visit her relatives there, but her family is saving to buy a house and can't afford a ticket. She offers to give up new clothes for the coming school year, and in light of her sacrifice, her parents each make one of their own so that she can make the trip. Gloria Jean Pinkney reaches back into her childhood to create another realistic and moving depiction of African-American life. The loving and supportive family she portrays recognizes and celebrates the importance of shared memory. The text reflects the true essence of African-American dialogue and meshes with Jerry Pinkney's illustrations, which continue in the same distinguished style found in Robert San Souci's The Talking Eggs (1989), Valerie Flournoy's The Patchwork Quilt (1985, both Dial).« less