Cover image for Raising Sweetness
Raising Sweetness
Stanley, Diane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Sweetness, one of eight orphans living with a man who is an unconventional housekeeper, learns to read and writes an important letter to improve their situation.
Reading Level:
530 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.0 0.5 28541.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 21490 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Ever since the kindhearted sheriff done adopted little Sweetness (and all them other precious orphans), things has been darn near perfect out in Possum Trot. Only problem is, the meals is just a mite too interestin' (such as pickle and banana pie) and the housekeepin' is downright peculiar. Ever so often, them young 'uns start to wishin' their sweet pa would go and get hisself married. When a mysterious letter arrives one day, Sweetness figures it might be the solution to all their problems?if only they can learn how to read it! But don't worry. She's done it afore; she can do it again. Leave it to Sweetness to save the day! Diane Stanley and Brian Karas' Saving Sweetness was chosen as a Best Book of the Year in School Library Journal, Booklist and American Bookseller , and reviewers praised the "rollicking telling... that begs to be enjoyed aloud."? Booklist

Author Notes

Diane Stanley was born in 1943 and was raised in Abilene, Texas. She later attended both Trinity University and Johns Hopkins University.

Her portfolio of children's book illustrations was creative enough for her to begin publication in 1978. She became an art director for G.P. Putnam & Sons and later began retelling and illustrating classic children's books.

Stanley has revamped the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin's Daughter and has also researched the children's biographies Cleopatra and Leonardo Da Vinci. She also illustrated her mother's book, The Last Princess.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. The kindly but dim-witted sheriff of Possum Trot has adopted Sweetness and her seven fellow orphans to get them away from mean Mrs. Sump at the orphanage. Although he is a loving man, he is one heck of a bad cook, whether he's serving up tuna soup or banana-and-pickle pie. As in Saving Sweetness (1997), it's capable Sweetness who takes things in hand and reunites the sheriff with his long lost (and far more sensible) sweetie. Using the sheriff as the narrator, Stanley tells the story in a hilarious Texas idiom ("They's all just as cute as kitten pajamas"), and young readers will love the contrast between the sheriff's point of view and what they know to be true. Karas' illustrations match the wacky tale perfectly, getting an amazing amount of expression out of the round heads and tiny pinpoint eyes of the characters. The twangy style begs to be read aloud, but be sure to also give children a chance to pore over the illustrations and enjoy the comical details. --Susan Dove Lempke

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the amiable Saving Sweetness, Stanley and Karas introduced a clumsy and golden-hearted sheriff who adopts little Sweetness and her seven fellow orphans. In this equally charming sequel, the unmarried sheriff labors to be a good parent. "Every dang day I sweep their little beds and hang their clothes out on the line to get clean!" he boasts, unaware that his cleaning methods are dubious at best. The orphans urge him to find a mate, and one day a letter arrives, foreshadowing better times. But the happy ending is postponed, for the sheriff cannot read. It's up to Sweetness to learn her ABCs in a hurry. As readers will suspect, the message comes from the sheriff's "long lost love, Lucy Locket," a New York City teacher who must be lured back to rural Possum Trot to become a happily married working mother of eight. Karas contributes witty pencil portraits of angelic Lucy, the ingenuous sheriff and keen-minded Sweetness. His multimedia collages, which include torn handmade paper, scraps of wallpaper and pasty washes of rosy-hued paint, convey homespun warmth. Stanley, an expert at folksy first-person dialogue, sprinkles the sheriff's amusing narration with Texas vernacular (e.g., he claims to have loved Lucy "since God made dirt"). This comic tale offers almost enough humor to make up for Lucy's getting the lion's share of the chores. If only Part Three could find the sheriff a housecleaning whiz and a decent chef to boot. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-An orphan adopted by a kindhearted sheriff helps reunite her new Pa with his long-lost sweetheart. A laugh-out-loud tale, narrated in a droll Texas drawl and illustrated with cartoon collages. (Jan.) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-In this delightful sequel to Saving Sweetness (Putnam, 1996), the irresistible, high-spirited orphan is determined to help her adopted pa, the kindhearted (if illiterate) sheriff of Possum Trot, mend his broken heart-and gain a mama for herself and the man's other seven adopted young 'uns. Since the dreaded former head of the orphanage is now the substitute teacher, Sweetness eavesdrops outside the school long enough to learn most of the alphabet. She deciphers a letter Tex has received from Miss Lucy Locket, his long-lost love, and writes a note begging her to "Kum kwik." With the sweethearts reunited, order is brought to the sheriff's home, and he doesn't even complain, since "a man will do anything for love." With the same sort of spirit and sense of fun found in David Cox's Bossyboots (Crown, 1987; o.p.), this delightful look at the Wild West will provide abundant laughs for young listeners in a story that begs to be read aloud. The tale is fast paced, and Tex's Texas twang adds real spice to this rollicking adventure. Karas's humorous colored-pencil illustrations are a perfect match for the text and complement the images of Pa's rather peculiar cookin' (such as his pickle-and-banana pie or catfish chili) and unusual housecleanin' methods (using butter to clean the windows). A surefire crowd pleaser.-Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.