The Books

Raising Sweetness

by Diane Stanley
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas

One Potato Review

There’s a certain satisfaction to be derived from getting to the end of a story – children’s or not – and discovering you have mastered a different accent. And picked up a couple of possibly useful expressions – “Like a hog to persimmons,” “Noah’s flood coulda dried up,” “Sharp as a pocketful of toothpicks” – along the way. It probably helps to read Saving Sweetness first, but here is still lots of amusement, if you submit to its minimal terms. A sheriff is so benighted in the ways of childcare, and cooking, and letters, that all of the children he has adopted conspire to find him a wife, and whether you’re buying any of this, or worry a little about poking fun at illiteracy, and the incompetence of fathers in general, these children are still a darn sight happier living with a big-hearted novice than down at the orphanage, “run by a female person named Mrs. Sump, who was meaner than a skilletful of rattlesnakes,” which kind of puts all the spaghetti with peanut butter in perspective. Here’s a goof, not a social commentary; all the real saving was done in the prequel.