Oxford Children’s Books
Brimming over with wit and humour is this story of young friends Grape and Mushroom. These two have a problem though. Since way, way back in time and for reasons completely forgotten the Vegetables and the Fruits have been bitterly at odds, hurling insults at each other and attempting to put paid to the friendship between Grape and Mushroom.
Now things have escalated so much that the two young ones hide themselves away during the fighting to discuss what, if anything can be done about this constant warfare.
They decide to ask the advice of the Wise Old Cheese – if such a being even exists – said to live, if the legend is correct, on the Top Shelf of the fridge. This entails scaling the heights on a perilous journey through blizzards and quicksands, each encouraging the other through the worst parts. (Beware of the puns). Finally, utterly exhausted Grape and Mushroom reach the object of their search.
Wise Old Cheese, exceedingly old, stinky and a tad mouldy, is fast asleep on that Top Shelf. Having explained their plight, the wedge promises through its moustache to think about the problem, but then promptly falls fast asleep once more.
Very disappointed, the friends return, find the Fruits and Vegetables still battling and are about to part company when they become aware of a ‘mysterious milky light’ accompanied by ‘a familiar pungent pong’.
All squabbling ceases as there before them is the wise Old Cheese. The mouldy wedge announces the purpose of his visit and draws their attention to Mushroom and Grape, wonderful examples of cooperation united in a single purpose.
And so it is that the two factions, impressed at what they’ve heard, decide they have rather a lot in common and resolve to try peaceable living.
With a plenitude of wordplay, speech bubbles, splendidly expressive garden produce and instantly recognisable kitchen equipment, this is a delicious story demonstrating the all-conquering power of friendship and the importance of focussing on similarities not differences.