Why hello there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, the place to be when you’re in need of a little time to unwind from the stress of life and just let it go…because the world of books was MADE for it.
Today’s featured title is equal parts entertainer and teacher, for there is both fun to be had AND a lesson to be learned. Don’t worry, it’s sneaky about the lesson because there is so much word play to enjoy and so many illustrations to explore, you won’t even notice until it’s already said and done. So get ready to put your cares behind you and let the slights of others roll off your back like water off a duck. Today’s book of choice is….
From the back cover…
What do you do with your tiffs and huffs?
Your squabbles and quibbles?
Your low blows and pet peeves?
What DO you do indeed!
If you live in the town of Bonnyripple (loving that name by the way), once upon a time, you wrote down your dust-ups, slights, over sights, and what nots, and trudged up the hill to see Mr. Cornelius, aka The Grudge Keeper. He was the man with the plan, or rather the man with the stash….of all the ill feelings, flare ups, and snafus that occurred between the citizens of this little town. But goodness me! For such a small town, so MANY things irritated, bothers, offended, and likewise hurt feelings, you’d think it was more the size of New York City! (Oh…but imagine with the populous in that actual city how BIG Cornelius’ house would have to be… *-*) Good thing he has everything in its place and a place for everything….or at least he did until the day of the BIG winds.
Yes, that was a day to remember. They huffed and puffed and blew everything asunder, including the house, the grievances and Mr. Cornelius himself! Wait…where IS the little guy anyway? *looks round* What’s a town to do without their Grudge Keeper, or perhaps a better question to pose…what’s a community to do when all the ill-wills and bad feelings they’ve held on to over the years have their covers blown free? Will this be the end of any neighborly niceness or open the door to understanding and forgiveness allowing them the chance to just let go?
One thing’s for certain, things will never be the same.
A wonderfully told story and illustrated perfectly to match, The Grudge Keeper is great way to show little ones how to “not sweat the small stuff” so to speak, and roll with the punches….not to mention a FABULOUS reminder for those well out of toddler size clothes. Without belittling readers, it shows us just how silly some of the offenses we hold so tightly to truly are as well as revealing once again what good a happy heart can really be for one and all. I loved how the one to find Mr. Cornelius was a known “troublemaker”…take THAT for labeling people, even little ones who can be mischievous at times. I appreciated how the author included everyone in the community, right down to the zinnia eating goat and a cat offended by a wayward pastry. I adored exploring the illustrations for though the yellow-ish scheme seems an odd choice, it’s not as over the top within the covers and well, it goes rather well with the end message if you follow the “red is for love”, “white is for purity”, “yellow is for FRIENDSHIP” coding of things. Accidental outcome or sneaky inclusion to see if we’d notice? Hmm…
In the end, it’s another win for this publisher and a great introduction to the author and illustrator both. Young ones will delight in the general story and images conveying the varied emotions of everyone as they learn to just let it go. Older readers will connect with the message on a deeper level and be reminded of the fact that everyone is human, deserves second chances, and things aren’t always as dire or earth shattering as they seem in the moment. Take a breath. Take another. Then look at the situation again…you’d be surprised how much can be solved with a smile, a laugh, and a little clarity.
Review copy received courtesy of Niki at Peachtree Publishers. (THANKS!) For more information on this title as well as their full catalog of bookish wonders, be sure to stop by their official site, like them on Facebook, catch up on their blog, or follow along on Twitter. This title is newly available now, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.
Until next time…happy reading!