Great Illustrated Books

Lousy Rotten Stinkin' Grapes

By Margie Palatini, Illustrated by Barry Moser

Simon & Schuster Children, 2009
Pages : 32
Suggested Ages: 4-8
ISBN: 0689802463

Unable to reach the tantalizing bunch of purple grapes high in a tree, Fox, who considers himself sly, clever, and smart, makes a plan to get them. "Hop. Skip. Jump. Flying leap. And . . . No grapes." Which is when he turns to Bear for help. Bear eyes Fox's written plan and tries to make a suggestion, but Fox cuts him of with, "Ta-ta-ta-a-ta. Bear, Bear, Bear, my dear dim buddy. Your job is brawn. Not brain. You leave the thinking to me." Fox climbs atop Bear's head, but he's still not high enough, which is why he enlists the help, in quick succession, of Beaver, Porcupine, and Possum, stacking the animals into a not-quite-high-enough tower. The dialogue is crackling and Moser's realistic watercolors are comical in Palatini's latest reworking of the well-known fable.

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If you love this book, then try:

Aylesworth, Jim. The Tale of Tricky Fox: A New England Trickster Tale. Scholastic, 2001.

Black, Michael Ian. Chicken Cheeks: The Beginning of the Ends. Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Calmenson, Stephanie. The Children's Aesop. Doubleday, 1988.

Morpurgo, Michael. The McElderry Book of Aesop's Fables. McElderry, 2005.

Palatini, Margie. Bad Boys. HarperCollins, 2003.

Palatini, Margie. The Cheese. HarperCollins, 2007.

Palatini, Margie. Earthquack! Simon & Schuster, 2002.

Palatini, Margie. Piggie Pie. Clarion, 1995.

Palatini, Margie. The Web Files. Hyperion, 2001.

Paxton, Tom. Belling the Cat and Other Aesop's Fables: Retold in Verse. Morrow, 1990.

Pinkney, Jerry. Aesop's Fables. SeaStar, 2000.

Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion & the Mouse. Little, Brown, 2009.

Critics have said

Palatini and Moser have taken a spare Aesop fable and expanded it into a riotous treat for eyes and ears while still keeping the essence of the original.
School Library Journal