Raisin and Grape

Tom Amico, Author, James Proimos, Author, Andy Snair, Illustrator Dial Books $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3091-5
In this modern-day tale, a raisin and a grape illustrate how grandparents can play dual roles: as caregiver and trusted friend. Primarily narrated by the young grape-with brief interjections made by Grandpa, the story is rich in ""kid-speak"" (""Being a raisin means you have a lot of wrinkles. Grandpa must have a kazillion. Awesome!""). Not only does Grape admire his grandfather, but he respects him as well. (""He walks slow. I'm fast. But Grandpa's a good yeller. So I come back to him."") Snair's wacky illustrations in punchy hues of predominantly purple, green, orange and teal, keep the tone from becoming too heavy-handed. Subtle metaphors (e.g., learning about ""life's ups and downs"" via a seesaw) will appeal to older readers, while juvenile behavior such as Grape ""stopping to smell his armpits"" may well elicit giggles from the younger crowd. Perhaps the most endearing, refreshing moment occurs when Grape rescues Raisin from a too-chatty prune ("" 'Time to go, Grandpa. I need a nap.' I pull his hand and Grandpa whispers to me, 'You saved me again' ""). As Proimos and Amico indicate, maybe grandparents need their grandchildren as much as the youngsters need their elders. Ages 4-up.
Reviewed on: 02/27/2006
Release date: 03/01/2006
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