How do you resolve a grudge? Take it to the Grudge Keeper! But be careful not to accumulate too many.
No one in the town of Bonnyripple ever kept a grudge. No one, that is, except Cornelius, the Grudge Keeper. 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.
Gradually the grudges accumulate as Minnie Fletcher’s goat eats Elvira Bogg’s prizewinning petunias, Sylvester Quincy snags the schoolmaster’s toupee, and Big Otto stomps on Lily Belle’s feet during the spring fling.
One night the wind rises, flinging together the people and their grudges, scrambling the squabbles with the quibbles and piling the lows blows and the high dudgeon together. And where is Cornelius?
★ “Rockliff has created a clever fable characterized by ornate language, extraordinary characters and billowy atmosphere. … Wheeler’s strong, witty ink-and-watercolor illustrations combine with the text to humorously demonstrate that “holding a grudge” is a bad thing.” ―Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
“Wheeler’s (Miss Maple’s Seeds) sure hand and lyrical pen-and-ink spreads are the source of this story’s charm. Long skirts billow, the fairy-tale cottage of Cornelius the Grudge Keeper leans sweetly to one side, and the white scraps of paper on which villagers have written their grudges billow and drift like sea foam.” ―Publishers Weekly
“This is an especially attractive picture book… Wheeler’s eye-catching cartoon drawings are busy with activity and whimsical detail that adds fullness to this simple, pleasant tale, and Rockliff’s telling is sprightly. This book will resonate most with teachers and adults looking to share stories about the value of forgiveness.” ―School Library Journal
“Rockliff’s wordplay is a joy, while Wheeler’s Dickensian group of scowlers is pleasant to watch—even when they get happy.” ―Booklist
“Clever details in Wheeler’s pen, ink, and watercolor illustrations support Rockliff’s parable about getting along by letting things go.” ―The Horn Book Guide
“There’s a hint of enchantment in Mara Rockliff’s ‘The Grudge Keeper,’ a slightly uneven tale of resentment and reconciliation that plays with language and humorously casts fresh meaning on old sayings.” ―The Wall Street Journal
“Clever and on point, this picture-book tale captures the burden of grudge-holding with lighthearted humor and impressive verbal dexterity. As Rockliff’s Juster-esque gymnastics please with wordplay…Wheeler’s pen and ink drawings capture the vaguely Victorian world of Bonnyripple with whimsy and warmth…This is a smart, witty tale for those kids feeling slighted, or just slightly silly.” ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Parents’ Choice Approved Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2014
Best Children’s Books of the Year ―Bank Street College of Education, 2015
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2015
CCBC Choices (Picture Books for School-Age Children) ―Cooperative Children’s Book Center, 2015
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2015
Children’s Book Award (Nominee) ―Florida Reading Association, 2015-2016
Anne Izard Storytellers’ Choice Award ―Westchester Library Association, 2015
Storytelling World Resource Awards (Winner, Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners) ―Storytelling World magazine, 2015
Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (Honor Book) ―The Poetry Center at Passaic County Community College, 2015
AR Level: 4.2
Themes: Conflict Resolution, Forgiveness, Wordplay
BISAC 1: JUV012030 JUVENILE FICTION / Fairy Tales & Folklore / General
BISAC 2: JUV039060 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Friendship
BISAC 3: JUV019000 JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories