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Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today.
Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don't always get along, that's true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her interesting stories and family recipes. It's easier to remember what's important about love, life, and friendship while Granny Torrelli makes soup.
In this endearing story by Newberry Medal-winner Sharon Creech, a wise old Italian granny skillfully imparts life advice (and cooking lessons) to her winning but sometimes obstinate 12-year-old granddaughter.
Best known for Walk Two Moons and The Wanderer, Creech makes good use of another inventive format: Rosie's story unfolds first, over making and eating zuppa, and then Granny Torrelli tells parallel stories from her own childhood to help Rosie with her current predicament. Granny Torrelli's tales are laced with endearing, fun-to-say Italian: "I didn't like it, not one piccolino bit," as is her attempt to help Rosie mend her rift with her best friend Bailey ("That Bailey boy!"), for whom she's starting to feel more-than-friendship feelings.
The details of both Rosie's and Granny Torrelli's respective stories are often quite funny (from Braille jealousy to secret guide-dog training for the legally blind Bailey). But, as usual, what Creech does best is slyly proffer small, nourishing morsels of wisdom--not unlike the cavatelli, the "little dough canoes," that Rosie, Granny Torrelli, and that Bailey boy labor over in the book's sweet second half. Just be warned that you might find yourself starving by the end of the story. (Ages 9 to 12) --Paul Hughes