I've had this book checked out from the library for several weeks. I just keep reading over and over again. I take it with me when I have a temp-Nanny day. One long day I got to read it out loud three times.
Eliza Wheeler's illustrations feel drenched with honey and life. I know that might sound strange, but she relies on sunshine and light, using my favorite color, yellow, on many of the pictures, adding water color washes of paint that at once gentle and colorful. Her people have a quill pen feel, from the bell of their gowns to the frowns on their faces, there is just something so...fun and flowing about them.
Mara Rockliff's story wields alliteration, consonance and assonance with the same quill pen Wheeler used in her drawings, unafraid of the beauty, power and play of words. While still very tightly written, Mara Rockliff writing just sounds good when read out loud. Certainly, some of it is a bit of a tongue twister, but that just makes it all the better. Kids will remember those sounds. They will better connect with the story because like a pretty song- it sounds good. This book was made for story time and crafted perfectly for bed time.
Set in the little fictional town of Bonnyripple -It sounds like someplace on the English countryside - where no one ever keeps a grudge, "that is, except old Cornelious, the Grudge Keeper."
Every time the townspeople become upset by some mishap they march down the road dressed in clothing that resembles something from a Dickens novel-only with less formality, and deliver their grudges to old Cornelious. Until one day...-and that's the story. What happens when you have to deal with your grudges?
Eliza Wheeler shared sketches and other projects over at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, back in March in 2013. Here is just a peek of her work- But you might want to pop over there for the full interview and even more lovely pictures.
Character sketch for the Grudge Keeper.
You can check this book out from the library locally, once I return it. Or you can buy it from Amazon -here.