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Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie

My six-year old granddaughter, Juliet was here for a visit. To prepare, I stocked up on library books, especially the ones that come with CDs. They’re great for the two-hour ride to our house. And also when your voice gives out after reading ten books in a row! Juliet is not allowed to watch videos, but books with CDs are okay. I had enough to entertain her for most of the ride.

Her newest favorite is Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie. Juliet listened to it twice, back to back. I can understand why it’s so appealing – to any age. The little girl in the story visits her Nanna and Poppy. Her grandparents are never sure whether it’s Sourpuss or Sweetie Pie who’s come to visit because she can go from one to the other so quickly. Sound familiar?!

One minute she’s hugging, the next she’s insisting on her way. One minute she’s thinking of others, the next she’s completely self-absorbed. One minute she’s “YES!”, and the next she’s “NO!” Juliet laughed out loud on the “NO, NO, NO!” page, when the little girl finds every way to be uncooperative. She grumbles about the runny scrambled eggs not being on her special plate and wants to wear her flip-flops in winter or else she’s not going to school.

The author, Norton Juster, is best known for his 1961 classic, The Phantom Tollbooth. Jules Feifer did the illustrations. Since becoming a grandpa, Juster has collaborated with artist Chris Raschka on two books about a little girl who visits her grandparents. Juliet also enjoyed their first one, Hello Goodbye Window, which also comes with a CD.

I found this book so appealing because we all have our moody moments. This playful book with colorful, child-like illustrations speaks to that uncontrollable gremlin that resides in all of us. I hope Juster is working on another book. He’s got a great imagination.

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