Today's Day 14 of our 30 Days of Picture Books. It's at this point in the project that I realize I'm probably not going to get to every single book I want to share with you. Sigh. It's just that there's such a bounty of picture book goodness out there, that it's hard to winnow it all own. Oh well, that only means there is that much more for next year, yes?
Our pick today is one I put off reading for a long time, which is weird, because I really love the cover:
But I think it's because I read a ton of raves when the book came out, and I just didn't want to be disappointed in the result. I mean, that bird - he has such promise, right? That tuft of feathers, that upturned eyebrow, that beak out-of-joint. And if Grumpy Bird didn't live up to Jeremy Tankard's amazing cover work, well, I'd be all kinds of cranky myself.
Lucky for us, and for you, dear reader, Grumpy Bird is ever bit as great as you might expect. In fact, it has become a frequent library checkout (and re-checkout) for us because it always delivers as a mood-lifter. So whenever Sprout's getting a little frumpy about life -- such as the days he complains about being "so bored" -- I know it's time to perk things up with Grumpy Bird.
The story starts out with our title character, who wakes up with his feathers in a bit of a twist. He decides to go for a walk, because he's even too grumpy to fly. But right off the bat, to Bird's annoyance, Sheep sees him walking and wants to join along. Whatever, Bird thinks, but then Rabbit sees the two and decides to come along. On each new spread, another animal decides to join in, until there's a whole crew keeping the very disgruntled Bird company. Bird plans to drive them away by jumping, hopping and the like - but to Bird's surprise, all he manages to scare away is his own crabby mood. And now he's got some awesome friends to have a snack with!
This colorful title is a great one to break kids, or adults for the matter, out of a funk. How can you stay grouchy around this cute little dude? Even grumpy, Bird is super adorable - which I think is what makes this book work so well, because kids can't help but be drawn to him, and that message Tankard's woven in sneaks up on them before they know it. It's a perfect springboard to talking about friendship, emotions, and the power of looking beyond your own mood. (And also, it's just a lot of fun to read!)
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard, published by Scholastic