Title: The Littlest Grape Stomper
Author: Alan Madison
Illustrator: Giselle Potter
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade Books
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 4.9
Concepts: natural resources, human resources, productivity
Review: The make-believe village of Ear was renowned for its delicious grape juice. Every summer, all the women and men in Ear had the same job: they picked the luscious purple grapes that grew in the surrounding valley and stomped them into grape juice. At the head of this profitable venture stood big Boss Nova Boombatz, and given his stature and muscle, all the people dutifully picked and stomped without a fuss. But life in Ear changed when the Boss encountered a young boy with six toes on both feet, aptly named Sixto, who could not only boot the kickball farther than any other child, he could also stomp grapes with record-breaking agility. Boss Boombatz quickly thought up a plan that exploited Sixto’s extraordinary productivity. This plan would have led to quick riches were it not for Boombatz’s failure to account for Sixto’s happiness and desire to play.
What a way to add some fun and imagination into the business of teaching substantive lessons in economics about productivity, natural resources, and human resources. This truly unique book makes a valuable addition to any collection of high-quality children’s books. There is something about a boy with six toes on both feet who stomps grapes in his underpants that will have kids asking for The Littlest Grape Stomper again and again.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children