From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 3–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. Fox eyes the grapes hanging from a vine high in a tree and thinks that he can get them easily: I am sly. Clever. Smart. After all, I am a fox. So, armed with paper and pencil, he draws his Plan Alpha and tries it out–no grapes. He asks Bear to help him out with Plan Bravo and Bear starts to say something, but Fox interrupts: Bear, Bear, Bear. …Your job is brawn. Not brain. You leave the thinking to me. If you say so, says Bear. After the third, fourth, and fifth plans fail, involving Beaver, Porcupine, and Possum, Fox gives up and departs in disgust with the usual rationale: lousy, rotten, stinkin' grapes. If you say so, say the other animals as they feast on the fruit thrown down to them by Possum. Moser's wonderful watercolor illustrations of the doubting animals executing Fox's convoluted plans are rich in humor. They are silhouetted against plenty of white space, with the grapevines and tree dominating each large spread. Matched by a text that rolls off the tongue and is full of action and repetitive phrases, the book is a delight.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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"This appealing riff on the Aesop fable of “The Fox and the Grapes” is ideal for families that make a point of reading aloud at night…In “Lousy Rotten Stinkin’ Grapes,” a delightful third collaboration of author Margie Palatini and illustrator Barry Moser, the old story takes on a new texture as Fox tries to enlist one animals after another in his quest for the tasty treat…Mr. Moser’s renderings of the Fox are very funny: We see both the animal’s predatory authority and his egotistical foolishness when he is shown launching himself wildly at the grapes from various absurd locations. What really seals this picture book as a bedtime choice for children ages 4-8, though, is Ms. Palatini’s lively dialogue…In the end, as in Aesop, Fox stamps away disgruntled. But in this version, the other creatures feast cheerfully on the elusive delicacy that was, for resourceful them, always within reach."--Wall Street Journal