#529 – The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff & Eliza Wheeler

grudge keeper.

The Grudge Keeper

by Mara Rockliff & Eliza Wheeler

Peachtree Publishers     4/1/2014top 10 use eb trans

978-1-56145-729-8

Age 4 to 8         32 pages

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“No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except old Cornelius the Grudge Keeper. Ruffled feathers, petty snits, minor tiffs, and major huffs, insults, umbrage, squabbles, dust-ups, and imbroglios—the Grudge Keeper received them all, large and small, tucking each one carefully away in his ramshackle cottage. But when a storm flings the people together and their grudges to the wind, will the Grudge Keeper be out of a job?”

Opening

“No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except old Cornelius the Grudge Keeper.”

The Story

The citizens of Bonnyripple do not hold grudges. Nope, not one grudge. Anyone new to town would wonder how everyone kept from holding a grudge. They all had Cornelius. Elvira ran a grudge up to Cornelius against the darned goat—the one that supped on her prize zinnias—and Cornelius has held that grudge for her ever since. All the townsfolk run their grudges up to Cornelius and then go about their happy lives. Poor Cornelius was so inundated with grudges his house could find little room for more, yet more came.

Sylvester loves to prank his schoolmaster. One day he plucked the man’s toupee right off his baldhead. The schoolmaster took great offense to this . . . but he never held a grudge against Sylvester, no matter how many times Sylvester pranked the man. A huge storm came in with gusty winds strong enough to knock Minnie’s fresh-made lemon pie off the windowsill, where it had sat cooling off. That pie landed right on top of Elvira’s cat, surely bringing home a mess.

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The moment the winds died down and the sun once again shined upon the people of Bonnyripple, Elvira walked up to Cornelius, ready with her grudge. If she had looked behind herself, she would have seen everyone from town with grudges for Cornelius to store. When the townsfolk made it to Cornelius’s house, they could not believe the sight. Poor Cornelius lay buried beneath a huge pile of decades-old grudges and no way out. Can they get Cornelius out from under the weight of all those grudges before it bears down upon him?

Review

The ending to The Grudge Keeper not only satisfies a wonderful story, it teaches a lesson in civility. The people of Bonnyripple did not like holding a grudge, but a grudge unsatisfied will always be a grudge. Therefore, they gave the grudge to someone else to handle—Cornelius. Eventually, those grudges landed everywhere, thanks to a storm, but Cornelius was nowhere. What the townspeople did next would change the entire atmosphere of Bonnyripple.

Younger children, without help from an adult, may not understand this picture book. At age four, kids do not know what a grudge is even if they have heard the word. They do understand how to apologize and to forgive. By age six or seven, kids understand what holding a grudge means and may hold one or two themselves. If only the people of Bonnyripple had known how to say, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you.”

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Reading The Grudge Keeper was easy, without a tongue tie-up from start to finished, no matter how hard the word or the wind swirled around Bonnyripple. The writing uses word play and humor, even in the naming of characters. I love the way the author describes action.

“Laundry fluttered on the line. Lily Belle’s best flowered bonnet skipped away. Big Otto captured it and brought it back, but Lily Belle just grumbled that the petals were all out of place.”

The illustrations seem perfect for the story, as if both text and illustrations were completed side-by-side. With its sophisticated look, parents will appreciate The Grudge Keeper as much as, if not more than, their children. Kids will love the oft-comical illustrations.

Every wrong is a grudge to the townsfolk and you can see this in their eyes and in their postures.  How do you settle a grudge? No revenge is needed, only a simple and heartfelt apology and forgiveness. Will the people of Bonnyripple ever understand this? If they do—or don’t—what will they and their town become?

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THE GRUDGE KEEPER. Text copyright © 2014 by Mara Rockliff. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Eliza Wheeler. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

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Learn more about The Grudge Keeper HERE.

Buy The Grudge Keeper at AmazonB&NPeachtree Publishingyour local bookstore.

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Meet the author, Mara Rockliff, at her website:  http://mararockliff.com/

Meet the illustrator, Eliza Wheeler, at her website:  http://wheelerstudio.com/

Find more great books at the Peachtree Publisher website:  http://peachtree-online.com/

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Also by Mara Rockliff

Me and Momma and Big John

Me and Momma and Big John

My Heart Will Not Sit Down

My Heart Will Not Sit Down

 

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Also by Elia Wheeler

Miss Maple's Seeds

Miss Maple’s Seeds

Doll Bones

Doll Bones

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.New at Peachtree Publisher

Beneath the Son

Beneath the Son

Claude at the Beach

Claude at the Beach

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.Read a shortened version of The Grudge Keeper‘s journey from manuscript to publication HERE.

grudge keeper

Peachtree Book Blog Tour

The Grudge Keeper

 Monday

A Word’s Worth

Tuesday

Reading to Know

Wednesday

Chat with Vera

 Thursday

Tolivers to Texas

Kid Lit Reviews    You Made it Here! Now Please Check Out the Others.

 Friday

Geo Librarian

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13 thoughts on “#529 – The Grudge Keeper by Mara Rockliff & Eliza Wheeler

  1. What a wonderful story. I love the creative way the author teaches readers the effect grudges have on our lives and the importance of forgiveness. The illustrations look beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sue, I’m so glad you reviewed this book! It looks like one that’s TOTALLY up my alley—probably one to purchase, not just read :) I love the premise and the illustrations. Can’t wait to read it! :D

  3. Sue, great review. I gotta have this book. So adorable.

    I didn’t know you were a fightin bookworm. I just took advantage of their offer and reupped. I think I’ve been a member for about 6-7 years.

    See you over there. waves

    • Yes, I think this is adorable, I first liked the illustrations, which are so detailed. Then the story got me. I thought how great not to hold a grudge, but I was wrong. You will enjoy every page of this picture book.

      I’m not sure how long I have been there but it is at least been 5 years. I just upped for another 20 months. Check out the archives – lots of gems in there.

  4. Oh, I love this premise, and I want this book for when my little G starts to learn what grudges are. Thank so much for a wonderful review. The illustrations alone are fantastic. We will put this one on the TBR pile. Thanks for joining us on the Kid Lit blog Hop

  5. We doggies never carry grudges. We forgive, forget, and move on in joy. Once Mom closed the door on my tail. She said sorry ten thousand times. Once would’ve been enough.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

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