Our Corner Grocery Store

Our Corner Grocery Store

by Joanne Schwartz
     
 
A picture book that celebrates local shops and building communities.

Anna Maria takes great pleasure and pride in her grandparents’ corner grocery store. Every Saturday she spends the day helping to arrange fruits and vegetables, greet the customers, and keep things neat and tidy. Through her day we meet the neighbors and learn what an important part the

Overview

A picture book that celebrates local shops and building communities.

Anna Maria takes great pleasure and pride in her grandparents’ corner grocery store. Every Saturday she spends the day helping to arrange fruits and vegetables, greet the customers, and keep things neat and tidy. Through her day we meet the neighbors and learn what an important part the corner grocery store plays in the community.

Nonno Domenico, Nonna Rosa, and Anna Maria supply more than goods as the steady stream of customers arrives. Lunches are made, news is shared, bargains are purchased, recipes are traded, and cheerful ciaos are called. By the end of a long day, Anna Maria has a true sense of just how wonderful the sights and smells within the store are and how much they mean to everyone.

Charmingly illustrated in great detail, Our Corner Grocery Store pays tribute to the small independent grocers who supply color and atmosphere to city streets. Young readers will particularly enjoy finding and naming the wide array of produce, breads, candies, and dry goods that abound in this friendly establishment.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Carefully detailed illustrations add to the sense of an idyllic, slow-paced life in this charming book set in a neighborhood many would like to live in were it possible. The corner store is owned by Anna Maria's Nonno Domenico and Nonna Rosa and everyone in the family helps out. Anna Maria works in the store on Saturdays. She arrives early when the street is quiet and after Nonna Rosa gives her breakfast they open the store at eight o'clock. The day passes as customers come and go. Many of Anna Maria's friends come in at lunch time for Nonno Domenico's tasty sandwiches and some of them return in the afternoon to pick out candy for a snack. Anna Maria must help out, but she does have time to share a Freezie with her friend Charlie. Although it may be about an ordinary day with people doing ordinary things, the descriptive writing and the wonderful illustrations lift this book far above the ordinary. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

This sweet story takes readers through young Anna Maria's Saturday as she helps her grandparents in their neighborhood store. The day is special for its simplicity; the book is special for its rich evocation of the delights of a little Italian market and the loving relationships between a girl and her grandparents. Beingessner's folksy illustrations and Schwartz's easy text fit well together and are filled with details. The fresh fruits and vegetables are lined up on wooden racks in front of the store, Nonno hand prints small signs to display among the produce, and fresh bread is delivered from a bakery in blue-and-white striped bags that Anna Maria sorts on the shelves. Nonna prepares a dinner of stuffed mushrooms in her kitchen behind the shop, and the girl and her friend draw on the sidewalks with chalk and share frozen treats from the store after dinner. The compelling visual and verbal descriptions make readers feel a part of the activities, as though they are living out one of those idyllic Saturdays. Reading this book is as appealing as spending a day in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood both provide a gentle and welcome escape. Share this story during storytime and encourage children to talk about other places or memories that make them feel happy.-Mary Hazelton, Elementary Schools in Warren & Waldoboro, ME

Kirkus Reviews
Anyone would be lucky to live near a grocery store like Anna Maria's Italian grandparents' charming place. (Note: readers unfamiliar with the words nonno and nonna won't know the store owners are the girl's grandparents.) More chronicle than plot-driven story, this gentle book tracks young Anna Maria's Saturday as she helps out at the store, from arranging produce displays to greeting customers ("Ciao!") to end-of-day cleanup. Matter-of-fact descriptions are contagiously satisfying: "I make sure everything is in neat rows, while Nonno Domenico writes the prices on little cardboard signs" and "We sold lots of tomatoes and lettuce today, and every single box of strawberries." Children will devour Beingessner's wonderfully detailed illustrations, which lovingly depict the store's bounty-especially the enticing candy counter-in a delicately etched style reminiscent of Roz Chast's hand-lettered cartoons. (Don't miss the cat in every spread!) Occasionally, the text is excessively descriptive (the candies listed in the text are clearly labeled in the artwork, for example), but overall, this warm, home-baked offering from Toronto is an affectionate tribute to small nonno-and-nonna stores everywhere. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887768682
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
04/14/2009
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,300,430
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Joanne Schwartz was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from York University and she has a Master’s degree in Library Sciences from the University of Western Ontario. Joanne is a children’s librarian with the Toronto Public Library, and she is a reviewer for the Canadian Children’s Book News. She enjoys art history, dancing, mountain walking, and reading picture books. Joanne has two daughters and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Laura Beingessner has loved to draw and paint ever since she was a little girl. She is the illustrator of three books for children, including the award-winning If the Shoe Fits, a New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing pick. She lives in Toronto with her husband and son.

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