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The Grudge Keeper

by Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

Published by Peachtree, 2014
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-56145-729-8

Ages 5-9

In the town of Bonnyripple, no one keeps a grudge except Cornelius, the man whose job it is to do just that. “Ruffled feathers, petty snits, minor tiffs and major huffs, insults, umbrage, squabbles, dust-ups, and imbroglios—the Grudge Keeper received them all, large and small, tucking each one carefully away in his ramshackle cottage.” But when a fierce wind blows through, all the slips of papers bearing grudges get mixed up. Worse than that, they pile up, burying Cornelius beneath them. The townspeople are momentarily at a loss, and at odds with one another what with all those grudges lying about, but soon they’re working together, grudges old and new forgotten in the effort to free Cornelius. Mara Rockliff’s fresh and spirited original tale is a wonderfully paced, language-rich narrative full of delight. Eliza Wheeler’s watercolor and ink illustrations reflect the folkloric feel of the story, offering an old-fashioned European sensibility to the characters’ dress and setting while showing a cast of characters that are racially diverse. The playful lines and charming details of Wheeler’s art perfectly echoes Rockliff’s sense of whimsy. (MS) ©2014 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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