cover image Mr. Griggs' Work

Mr. Griggs' Work

Cynthia Rylant. Orchard Books (NY), $14.95 (30pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05769-8

A simple idea reigns in Rylant's quietly dignified picture bookthat it is possible to be take pride in and in fact relish what others may believe is the humblest of tasks. Mr. Griggs is the one-man show at a small town's post office. He weighs the parcels, wonders about those packages that have gone astray, sells stamps and lovingly fingers the tools of his trade. His job is with him on duty and off: a chipmunk reminds him of the portrait on a stamp; a squirrel carrying a nut reminds him of special delivery. And on the day that he is sick, Mr. Griggs misses his work terriblyhe feels like a dead letter. Downing exhibits a looser style than she used in her illustrations of Daniel's Gift ; she captures the old man's gentle exuberance in the smallest details of his job, and the reciprocal affection of his customers for him. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)