14 Jun / Sunday Shopping by Sally Derby, illustrated by Shadra Strickland
“On Sunday night, after we put on our nightgowns, Grandma and I go shopping.” Armed with scissors and tape, and a black purse filled with “shopping dollars [that] are easy to tell apart because they’re all different colors,” Evie and her grandmother open the newspaper and go to town from the cozy comfort of Grandma’s bed. From groceries to furniture to a jewelry box to spring clothes to kitchen supplies to a school notebook – plus “one more thing” for Grandma that she’s not allowed to see – these savvy shoppers know just where to find the best deals
In spite of the word ‘shopping’ in the title, this is no gimme-gimme story. What’s revealed between the lines is a loving, poignant story of a grandmother and granddaughter delighting in joyful moments in the midst of financial and emotional challenges.
The already-on-sale groceries must last many meals, but they seek “two-for” specials so they can still share with a less-fortunate neighbor. They choose a “Sofa with a Secret” because it won’t have the “lumpy spots” Evie sleeps on nightly. The jewelry box is to hold Evie’s special necklace – a precious gift from the missing mother who is far away serving her country. Evie needs new clothes because she is so quickly outgrowing the old. Their kitchen appliances need replacing because some no longer work. And that final surprise for Grandma …? Well, that just might send you out for yet another tissue box!
Kudos indeed to creative team Sally Derby and Shadra Strickland for showing us how to enjoy a family evening without spending a (real) penny. Investing in our imaginations – not to mention sharing and caring for each other – is actually free, a priceless lesson to be learned by us all.