Maria practices the engaging and inoffensive psychological control small girls have always been able to exert over grown men...

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ROLLING THE CHEESE

Maria practices the engaging and inoffensive psychological control small girls have always been able to exert over grown men on her Uncle Pasquale and his friends. She's about eight years old and visiting her fruit peddler uncle in San Francisco around the turn of the century and she develops an ambition to take part in the men's traditional Sunday cheese rolling contest. Uncle Pasquale says flatly that this is not for girls and that the other men wouldn't like it. Naturally, this only increases Maria's urge to play. At the wholesale fruit and vegetable stalls where the men work, Maria asks each man separately if he would mind if she rolled a cheese and in each case gallantry overcomes the customary discrimination against girls in games. Especially well done is Maria's patience in the face of the unchanging banter and needling that men bring to their sports. The illustrator's water colors are attractive and active. His faces and physical types can be seen at any present day Sunday afternoon bocci game and, since human nature doesn't change, their reactions to Maria's outside chance to win all the cheeses is fun to read and watch, offering an understated insight into the relationship between generations and the forms camaraderie takes among friends.

Pub Date: March 22, 1966

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1966