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Saving Sweetness (Sweetness)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  211 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
When Sweetness, the little orphan in mean old Mrs. Sump's orphanage, runs away, the kind-hearted sheriff sets off to find her. After all, someone's got to save Sweetness before she meets up with Coyote Pete, the nastiest, ugliest desperado in the West. Laughs and surprises abound in this offbeat tall tale. Full color.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 15th 1996 by Putnam Juvenile
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Mar 15, 2016 Cora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Per my first graders: it was awesome and gross when Pete had to marry her. It was fuuuunny!
Per the teacher: Great story with outstanding voice and good for helping students predict and read between the lines. Also, good to teach idioms with this. Really enjoyable!!!
Lisa Vegan
Jul 24, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone looking for an amusing and light hearted picture book about an orphan
Recommended to Lisa by: Chandra
What a hoot! This is surely a different type orphan book from most on my orphan related shelf! This book is so different, in a good way. The storyline, language, illustrations, all seemed atypical for a children’s picture book.

I loved the pictures. The art style is great, and the juxtaposition/positioning of the different pictures on the various pages keeps one’s attention, keeps things fresh, and works so well with the story.

The story is so funny and kids will get a kick out of Sweetness’s beha
Jun 16, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a hoot! I don't usually enjoy picture books with lots of dialect or books about the Wild West but this one is both and it utterly charmed me. Sweetness is so wise and resourceful and adorable! I had a great time with her adventure and though I figured things out a little faster than the Sheriff did, I still enjoyed the ending.
Feb 17, 2012 Sophia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-alouds
Sweet, sweet, sweet story set out in the Wild West. Sweetness is an itty bitty orphan fed up with living with mean ol' Mrs. Sump in the orphanage. So she runs away. Now it's up to the sherrif to go find her and bring her back! However, she is a clever one and does not make it easy for the sheriff to catch up to her.

What I loved most about this book is the twangy Western vernacular used with lots of metaphors and yes, improper grammer....ain't, gonna, lessen', fur (for), and the likes. I read th
Nov 25, 2011 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweetness is a spunky little orphan who runs away from an orphanage run by a mean headmistress. The kind sheriff, who is telling the story, is sent out to the desert to save her. She ends up saving the Sheriff a couple times but before he can take her back, she runs away again. The problem is she doesn’t want to return to the orphanage. In the end, there is a happy ending for Sweetness. The book is set out west. The Sheriff telling the story is telling it with a cowboy accent and speaking in sla ...more
Beckie Coldiron
Saving Sweetness is a wonderful book to add to any classroom set! This unique and fascinating book can easily explore the topics of; personification, hyperboles, similes and metaphors. Besides being a great book filled with different types of language, it also introduces the topic of adoption and families. In today's society, I believe it's imperative to have a book on adoption in every classroom. With that being said, Saving Sweetness has a fun twist at the end, which can make this serious topi ...more
Esther Yoo
Apr 22, 2016 Esther Yoo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wow
What an enjoyable read filled with funky vernacular and a fun touch of the wild west! Sweetness is an itty, bitty orphan who is tired of living under mean ol' Mrs. Sump. Always being put to work and never allowed to have fun, little Sweetness decides to run away from the orphanage. Uh-oh. Now, it's up to the kindhearted sheriff to save her before the terrible bandit, Coyote Pete gets to her! However, Sweetness refuses to be saved if it will result in going back to awful, Mrs. Sump. Will the sher ...more
Mar 29, 2012 Alana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Saving Sweetness is a picture book written by Diane Stanley and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. This is a story about Sweetness, a small orphan girl, who runs away because she doesn't like Mrs. Sump or scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush. The story is written from the Sheriff's point of view, who goes to save Sweetness from Coyote Pete and tries to bring her back home. Unfortunately I did not enjoy this story as much as I was hoping I would. I did not like the way that the story was written; i ...more
At the request of Mrs. Sump (the mean woman who runs the orphanage), the sheriff sets out to find the poor little orphan, Sweetness, who has gone missing in the wild west. But every time he "finds" her, she gets lost again! Told by the sheriff in wonderful, stereotypical old west vernacular, the story will have you giggling throughout. One of our children's librarians recommended it to me and I fell in love!
Diana Manzo
Apr 15, 2014 Diana Manzo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had a vertical orientation. It was a good read and I think it brings up what a lot of kids think about an orphanage. The colors are more of a pastel which sets up a bland mood. Sweetness keeps running away from the orphanage and the possibility of going back. There is more color in the backgrounds when Sweetness is with the sheriff in the end. This sets up a warmer mood.
Ccl Children's
Feb 13, 2013 Ccl Children's rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Out in the hottest, dustiest part of town is an orphanage run by a female person nasty enough to scare night into day." So says the sheriff of one Mrs. Sump, who sets the children to scrubbin' floors with their toothbrushes. When little Sweetness runs away from the orphanage, Mrs. sump sends the sheriff to bring her back alive --("er, I mean safe.") But every time he gets in trouble, Sweetness shows up just in the nick of time for him to rescue her. He's brave, but is he smart enough to figure ...more
Brianne Griffin
Apr 09, 2012 Brianne Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Saving Sweetness" is a picture book set in the wild west desert and told from the point of view of the sheriff who goes looking for Sweetness after she runs away from her orphanage. Instantly I liked the character of little Sweetness because she is lovable and strong minded. The abstract illustrations were executed in gouache, acrylic, and pencil with toned cyanotype photographs. The images vary from full bleed, cut-outs, framed images, and motifs. The medium used is mostly lower in value even ...more
Apr 30, 2015 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
cute story; excellent book to use in art class because students get frustrated that their hands don't look like hands I noticed that the hands in the artwork of this book sometimes don't look like hands either - they look like french fries. And that's okay.
Nov 08, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, other-usa, 2012
This is a humorous tale about a sheriff who ventures out to save a runaway orphan. The narrative is entertaining with a very rough, western dialect and begs to be read with a twang.

The illustrations are colorful and help to tell the 'real' story, a very different version than what is actually in the dialogue. We recognized the artwork by G. Brian Karas and I loved the mixed media backgrounds.

It's a fun book to read aloud (although our girls cringed at my accent) and we enjoyed reading this boo
Alexa Maring
Apr 11, 2011 Alexa Maring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-book
Saving Sweetness is a wonderful book to discuss personification, hyperboles, similes and metaphors. Introduce these language arts terms after reading the story. Then re-read to see if students can find examples of the terms. Another way this book could be used is in teaching different dialects. The dialect of the wild west is one most likely not known to your students. Compare this book to other books wiht different dialects so students can see the craft of giving characters personality through ...more
Megan Sanchez
I just didn't get into this book. With children's books, that is particularly lethal because you don't have a lot of time to get reeled back in. I understand the appeal of this book, but it wasn't for me and I wouldn't use it with children. I was especially displeased by some sexist comments made early in the book - Mrs. Sump, the director of the orphanage, is ugly and therefore, she can't get a husband. I was just uncomfortable with that, I don't know. I know that a child would never read that ...more
Sweetness has had enough of the orphanage. Mrs. Sump, who runs the place, has made the orphans scrub the floor with toothbrushes one time too many, so Sweetness hits the road. The local Sheriff is worried about little Sweetness because she headed into the desert, and Sheriff knows the desert is a dangerous place--especially when the outlaw Coyote Pete is on the loose!

So the Sheriff sets out to find Sweetness and rescue her. But the Sheriff is...well, he's...okay, let's just say it: he's inept.
Jan 16, 2015 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adorable! This yarn was sweeter than pie, y'all! Mosey on over ta your local bookstore and grab yourself a copy and right pronto...ya won't regret it now.
Oct 13, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s, 2011, picture
Totally fun and totally sweet! Told in a slangy, western-style, this book might be challenging for some readers. But for those that get it, the story is a delight! Sweetness lives in an an orphanage run by mean old Mrs. Sump. When she decides to run away, the Sheriff is sent to the desert to save her. Sweetness ends up saving the Sheriff, capturing Coyote Pete and convincing the Sheriff to adopt her.

I made the mistake of reading the sequel first. I agree that the first book Saving Sweetness is
Dailey Baker
I absolutely love Diane Stanley, and it is so refreshing to read books with girl heroes. My only wish in this book (series) is that there are some kneejerk kind of overtones of sexism (like the teacher being so mean & suspecting she didn't have a husband, etc.). Stanley brilliantly upended all of this type of thinking in Rumpletstiltskin's Daughter -- a must read for EVERYONE. So I wish she could revisit this and make small edits that would not encourage a traditional type of thinking, but r ...more
Leslie Basky
Nov 15, 2015 Leslie Basky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
told from the sheriff's point of view... kinda cute
Michael Fitzgerald
Dec 15, 2015 Michael Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wonderful and unusual, with clever twists.
Lauren White
Good for grades 3-6
Angela Moorer
Saving Sweetness is definitely one of the most heartwarming and hilarious children's books I've read in a long time!!! The language that Stanley chose to write the story in is genius. It creates so many teachable moments. Students can benefit from the lessons of understanding orphans, understanding figures of speech, and most importantly, it can provide for an all around good laugh. I would use this book in a variety of ways to benefit my students.
Saving Sweetness is about a spunky orphan named Sweetness and her adventures in the western wilderness. It is narrated by a bumbling sheriff who attempts to save Sweetness.

I taught this at the clinic in Summer 2011 to first and second grade students. The kids loved this book and became quite involved in it. They especially loved the funny voices I used while reading. This book is excellent for teaching children to make inferences.
Molly Mardany
Apr 09, 2012 Molly Mardany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a smaller portrait book. You defiantly have to read this book in a western accent, which makes it fun. The pictures were mixtures of really cartoon drawings and actual pictures which was something I have never seen before. I found the book interesting because the orphan out in the desert had to save the sheriff three times but he kept saying that he was saving her. The grown ups are not always the heroes of the story.
Jul 25, 2011 Shelli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Southern style country writing picture book about a lovable but dim witted sheriff that is searching for a run away orphan girl named Sweetness. Sheriff ends up being the one needing the rescuing and sweetness has no intentions of returning to that orphanage where she and the other children had to clean the floors day and night with a toothbrush.
Jul 30, 2009 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Written with a Texas drawl and plenty of (intentional) grammatical errors, I don't know that I'd want a beginning reader looking at this one. But it was great fun to get into character reading it to my 5-month-old. (And fun's what it's all about at this age!) This story's hero could've been one of my family members!
Mar 12, 2011 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really cute and enjoyable book! I enjoy Stanley's writing style and how she seems to bring the characters to life by including their dialects and humorous sayings into their conversations. This story is great for introducing personification, hyperboles, similes and metaphors to your students.
Sarah Kasper
Mar 01, 2011 Sarah Kasper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, family
"Saving Sweetness" is an adorable book. This book would be perfect for a read-aloud scenario where students try to listen and name all the times they hear metaphors, similies, personification and hyperboles. Students will enjoy having this book read to them because it is funny and has an exciting plot.
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