Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie



Every bit as good as Hello, Goodbye Window.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sequel to Norton Juster's Caldecott Winner The Hello, Goodbye Window speaks just as clearly to the real kinds of feelings kids have as did his first book.

Kids say

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What's the story?

When their granddaughter comes to stay, Nanna and Poppy are never quite sure what mood she will be in. Sometimes she is Sweetie Pie, sometimes Sourpuss, and sometimes both rolled into one.

Is it any good?


One of the great wisdoms of SOURPUSS AND SWEETIE PIE is the fact that this is not an either/or situation. Though the little girl can act as one or the other, she is more often both at the same time. And there is really no rhyme or reason to why she swings back and forth. Kids, parents, and grandparents, will chuckle in recognition as they turn from page to page. As in The Hello, Goodbye Window, Chris Raschka's illustrations capture Juster's story perfectly, his colors and strokes changing subtly as the little girl's mood changes. While Sweetie Pie -- with her perky hair, eyes, and mouth -- she is awash in splashes of sunshiny bright colors. Sourpuss is much darker, a mouth turned down, eye's scrunched up, an angry body bathed in darker red, blues, browns, and grays.

And this is not a book just for kids. Readers young and old will be captivated and engaged not only by the artwork but by both the language and the message it carries. Most will find themselves muttering Wow! How many times have I heard (or said) that before? As a sequel, this book is every bit as good as the book it follows; together they are a perfect pair.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about matching the illustrations to moods. Can you figure out when the little girl is Sourpuss or Sweetie Pie with just the art? How do the colors on the page show how the little girl is feeling? What about the look on her face, or the way she holds her body? Why do you think she changes? Do you think she can be both at the same time? Do you ever feel the way she does? Why do you think the grandparents said, "Goodnight, girls" when they put their granddaughter to bed?

Book details

Author:Norton Juster
Genre:Picture Book
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Michael Di Capua
Publication date:October 1, 2008
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byBubblesPPG March 26, 2011

Bad influence on children of all ages! :(

This book was kind of frightening. When I read it to my child as a bedtime story, I was shocked. I didn't realize it would be like that because on the cover it was a happy little girl, so I never thought it would be like that. I needed to look up the summary because I found myself wanting answers. I was under the impression that the little girl was bipolar. I was even more taken back when my daughter started acting out, like the character "Sourpuss". This book never really states that being "Sourpuss" is bad, and it gives young children bad messages. I feel like the author should make it clear that being a "Sourpuss" isn't a good thing, and young children or children of any age shouldn't be acting like that.


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