Cover image for Sweet strawberries
Sweet strawberries
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
A wife and her grumpy husband go to market.
Reading Level:
AD 500 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.8 0.5 29281.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.9 2 Quiz: 27575 Guided reading level: L.
Electronic Access:
Publisher description
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



He wasn't the worst man in the world, but he wasn't the nicest, either. That's what this man's wife understands as they head off to market to sell a basket of fish. And when he is grumpy with the various people they encounter along the way -- a young girl herding geese, the boy guarding the village gate, even the man with whom they trade their fish -- she is hardly surprised. After all, when husband and wife have been married a good long time, they get used to each other's ways. But when she catches sight of a table of plump red strawberries and her husband is too stingy to buy any, it's simply the last straw! Now, what will it take for this stingy, grumpy, impatient man to cheer her up again? Newbery Medal winner Phyllis Reynolds Naylor spins a droll tale of foibles and forgiveness, warmly captured in Rosalind Charney Kaye's charming illustrations.

Author Notes

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana on January 4, 1933. She received a bachelor's degree from American University in 1963. Her first children's book, The Galloping Goat and Other Stories, was published in 1965. She has written more than 135 children and young adult books including Witch's Sister, The Witch Returns, The Bodies in the Bessledorf Hotel, A String of Chances, The Keeper, Walker's Crossing, Bernie Magruder and the Bats in the Belfry, Please Do Feed the Bears, and The Agony of Alice, which was the first book in the Alice series. She has received several awards including the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Night Cry and the Newberry Award for Shiloh.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. When his wife craves strawberries on their way to market, a crotchety fisherman admonishes her, "Complain, complain. All you do is complain." On the journey, however, it is the husband who gripes about everyone, and when they spot some ripe, red strawberries, he dismisses them as too expensive. His patient, understanding wife then becomes furious and rides home in stony silence despite his cajoling. On their next market trip, they encounter the very same situation, but now the husband is sympathetic, and this time he buys the strawberries. The collage, oil, and acrylic illustrations reflect every emotional nuance of the long-married, middle-age couple. Other figures look blurry, and the scenery seems haphazard, but the couple are welldrawn; their eyes and hands are remarkably expressive. This original story has many folkloric elements, but it cleverly turns the tables on the traditional wife-as-kvetch motif. The conjugal conflict and resolution may resonate most with adults, but children will enjoy the underlying silliness. (Reviewed April 1, 1999)0689813384Linda Perkins