Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Sharon Creech
For ages 9 to 12
HarperCollins, 2005   ISBN: 978-0064409605

Even the best of friends fight, and now Rosie is with Granny Torrelli, talking about the fight she has had with Bailey, her best friend. As she talks about Bailey she starts thinking about how their friendship has evolved over the years. Rosie remembers how Bailey slowly grew blind and how his father left. She recalls the times when she did some not so clever things. They were always done with the best of intentions, but the results were often disastrous, and very funny. As the memories float around, Rosie and Granny Torelli make soup and talk.

When the fight is over, something new develops between Rosie and Bailey. There is a new girl living on the street and in no time Rosie finds that she does not like this newcomer one little bit; jealousy has reared its ugly head. So, Rosie, Bailey, and Granny Torrelli make pasta and sauce and Granny Torrelli tells the best friends a story about jealousy. Then she tells them another story, which changes everything.

As the stories are told we get to know Rosie and her granny very well indeed. Rosie even tells us how Granny Torrelli pronounces things: “Zuppa! She calls it. She says it like this: Zoo-puh!” Granny Torrelli is the kind of granny we would all like to have. She sees things as they are, speaks her mind, and yet is funny at the same time. As she does her cooking and tells her stories, Granny sprinkles her speech with Italian words.

In Granny Torrelli, Sharon Creech has created yet another one of her larger than life characters. We cannot help falling in love with the colorful granny. Told from Rosie’s point of view and broken up into very short chapters, the prose in this delightful book is colloquial and personal. We are taken deep inside Rosie’s feelings and thoughts, and we cannot help but grow fond of this girl who loves so hard and who is lucky enough to have so wise a grandmother.