The Littlest Grape Stomper

The Littlest Grape Stomper

by Giselle Potter, Giselle Potter
     
 
Sixto Poblano really sticks out in a crowd. That's because he has six toes on each foot. And evil Boss Nova Boombatz, the head of all things grape, thinks Sixto has real potential. A boy with extra footage could really help him make grape juice! And so Sixto is whisked off to stomp . . . even though he'd rather play. Then one day, stomping inside a giant

Overview

Sixto Poblano really sticks out in a crowd. That's because he has six toes on each foot. And evil Boss Nova Boombatz, the head of all things grape, thinks Sixto has real potential. A boy with extra footage could really help him make grape juice! And so Sixto is whisked off to stomp . . . even though he'd rather play. Then one day, stomping inside a giant container, Sixto sees his chance to escape. He kicks out the barrel's cork, sending purply juice out in a flood, and freeing himself in the process. And that's how the Grape Lakes are formed!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In the vine-fringed, semicircular village of Ear, famous for its "scrumptious grape juice," lives Sixto Poblano, a boy so named for having six toes on each foot. Sixto frequently goes barefoot: "At the shoe store there was never a good fit, and when he ran he often tripped." On the plus side, he excels at kickball, and during a game his powerful tootsies come to the attention of a juice magnate. Boss Nova Boombatz, a shady guy with a pencil mustache and porkpie hat, recruits Sixto for harvest time: "We in Ear pick, pluck, and stomp�that is our sworn duty," Boombatz says persuasively. Sixto reluctantly climbs into a wooden barrel of grapes and stomps "once, then twice, and because his spare toes made his feet so worldly wide, all the juicy grapes were now grape juicy." The other stompers are amazed: "Twostomps? Unheard of!" In florid prose, Madison (Pecorino's First Concert) elevates Sixto to legendary status, and details the downfall of taskmaster Boombatz. Potter (Sleeping Bobby), whose drily funny paintings emit a folklorish, Old World quality, may be the ideal illustrator for this book. She concentrates on Sixto's feet and pictures him up to his chest in grapes, wearing nothing but briefs, yet still implies his melancholic dignity. She brings a festive carnival air to the grape stomping rituals. The discomfiting combination of bare feet and "deeeliciousss!" grape juice only adds to the flavor of this tall tale. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
Little Sixto was born in the town of Ear in the Your valley, an area well known for its wonderfully tasty grape juice. Sixto, as his name implies, was born with six toes on each foot. While this made it difficult for the lad to find comfortable shoes, the extra digits did make him a natural for stomping grapes. When Bossa Nova Boombatz, the head of the grape business, saw Sixto at play, he immediately put him to work in a wooden barrel. Sixto did so well he became eligible for the Grape Juicing Hall of Fame, but the Boss took advantage of him and Sixto soon became tired of all work and no play. For his final job, Sixto was placed in a huge barrel. The Boss, however, had outsmarted himself for, when the plug was removed, the grape juice swept him away. What became of all that grape juice? Why, everyone has heard of the Grape Lakes. That play on words is one of many in this rather unusual tale.
Kirkus Reviews
A fey piece of whimsy takes a lighthearted look at child labor. The village of Ear, nestled in the Your Valley, is famed for the excellence of its hand-er, foot-stomped grape juice. Into Ear is born Sixto, named because he has six toes on each foot. When Boss Nova Boombatz spies those extra toes, he quickly sees their possibilities and puts polite little Sixto (who would really rather play) to work as a grape stomper, building ever-bigger vats to nudge Sixto's efforts into the record books. Potter has fun with the text, giving Boombatz a distinctly Mafioso air and dyeing Sixto and the other grape stompers a delicate shade of purple. All the characters wear her trademark old-people faces, giving all the Earians an appealingly ageless appearance. Madison's resolution is as silly as the premise itself: A deluge of juice, stomped by Sixto in an enormous cistern, floods the Your Valley, creating the Grape Lakes and sweeping Boombatz away. Kids will enjoy both Sixto's triumph and the overall goofiness of this small tall tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375936753
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/27/2007
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.75(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Alan Madison is a film and television writer and the author of Pecorino's First Concert, which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews, and just published Pecorino Plays Ball. He lives in New York City.

Giselle Potter is the illustrator of many children's books, including the just published The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter, and the ALA Notable Book Kate and the Beanstalk by Mary Pope Osborne. She lives in Rosendale, New York.

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