The Sour Grape

The Sour Grape
Jory John and Pete Oswald
Harper

A fault finding fruit if ever there was one – that’s Grape when first we encounter our narrator in this latest addition to the Food Group series. But the grape wasn’t always so, as we hear. Indeed Grape had a pretty perfect childhood growing up in a “close-knit bunch” – a community of about three thousand.

The transition from sweet to sour started when Grape planned a big birthday party to which nobody at all turned up. Thereafter began the personality change, first to a bitter grape, then a snappy one that would hold a grudge at the slightest little thing. This would manifest itself as a scowl that turned Grape’s face ‘all squishy’. Gradually the grudges built until one day, Grape is due to meet his only friend, sour Lenny, for one of their regular ranting sessions. But a sequence of mishaps result in Grape arriving at the venue three hours late. Guess who how holds a great big grudge.

A disbelieving Grape ponders on the situation and then leaves his friend to grumble alone. As Grape enjoys the surrounding nature, there follows a light bulb moment and off home goes the fruit to find and browse through a box of keepsakes. Goodness me! Grape discovers that old party invitation and the date written thereon was ten days after the birthday date. “It was all my fault. I realised nobody’s perfect. Not even me.”

Thus begins a change in the attitude of our narrator who finds that talking, listening to others and working things out calmly is the way to go.

What an important life lesson, and delivered in Jory John’s punny prose and Pete Oswald’s signature style illustrations, make it great fun. A book that adults, as well as youngsters should read; after all as Grape concludes, ‘If you look at things in the right sort of way – and if you remember to be kind, considerate, forgiving and grateful – life really can be pretty sweet.’

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