Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Barry Moser

Lexile     AD340          Pages     32          Ages      4 - 8
AR Quiz No. 132159 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 2.0 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP

Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes is a humorous twist on the Aesop's Fable The Fox and the Grapes. The story starts out with Fox spying some delicious-looking grapes hanging out of reach from a vine high in a tree. He thinks, "No matter, I am sly. Clever. Smart. After all, I am a fox."  He comes up with a plan that looks great on paper but is not so wonderful in execution. The result? No grapes.

This is the point where Aesop's story stops but where Ms. Palatini's story just gets going. Fox employs the help of his friend Bear, asking him to stand under the grapes so Fox can stand on his head and reach the grapes. Bear starts to make a suggestion as to an easier solution but Fox cuts him off - "Ta-ta-ta-ta-ta, my dear dim buddy. You leave the thinking to me. After all, I'm the fox. Sly. Clever. Smart." So Bear agrees and Fox climbs on his head . . . . . and still can't reach the grapes. 

The story goes on with Fox enlisting other animals to his cause - Beaver, Porcupine and Possum. Each tries to make a suggestion as to an easier way to get the grapes but Fox interrupts them all, boasting, "I know how to get grapes! I am a fox. Sly. Clever. Smart."

In the end, all of Fox's plans have failed. The others each tell him "well, I could have . . . . ." with Possum saying "I can run up the tree and toss them down."  "Why didn't you say so?" asks Fox and they turn his words back on him. "Well, after all, you are the fox. Sly. Clever. Smart, very smart." : )

Fox gets extremely angry and he stomps off disgusted, muttering for them to do as they wish, he wouldn't eat any of those lousy, rotten, stinkin' grapes and that they are probably sour anyway. Meanwhile, Possum climbs up the tree and tosses the grapes down to the others and the last page spread shows Fox stomping off while the others happily enjoy the yummy grapes.

While this book illustrates Aesop's moral "It is easy to despise what you cannot get" it takes the lesson farther. Fox's arrogance is the reason he cannot get the grapes, his unwillingness to believe that someone other than sly, clever, smart Fox could possibly have a better idea.  This leads him to interrupt his friends and disregard their ideas.  It shows the value in teamwork, each member contributing ideas and work to reach a common goal.

The colorful illustrations by Barry Moser add to the humor in Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes.  The expressions on the animals' faces convey exactly what they think of Fox and also show the slyness and arrogance of Fox.

Come to the Lake County Public Library for a copy of Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes today or click here http://tinyurl.com/7afzo4g to order a copy for pickup at your favorite branch.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

1 comment:

  1. So glad to see you enjoyed those 'grapes', Miss Laurie. If you haven't seen it -- I hope you and your readers get a giggle from the fun trailer: