5 Books for the Grumpy Among Us

grumpy2Spring break came to a screeching halt this morning. There were tears and groans and tantrums when it was time for school, and not just from the children. Waking up to an alarm for the first time in ten days has left me feeling a bit more surly than normal. On days like today, I fall back on our ample supply of grumpy books. Is it weird that I love nothing more than a picture book about bad days? Some of these are pick-me-ups; others are delightfully grumpy all the way through to the end. All five are perfect for a day like today.

 Mr. Grumpy by Roger Hargreaves takes me back to the Evergreen Elementary Media Center (which no one but the teacher called anything other than “the library”) where I was first introduced to Mr. Men and Little Miss books. My kids love being shocked at Mr. Grumpy’s poor behavior, especially when he tears the pages from his book (a major offense around these parts, as you can imagine).

Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods by Sandra Boynton is a book we hand-picked for our daughter when she was still a very colicky baby. Josh and I laughed every time we read it to our own little angry duck. Now that she is a happy four-year-old, it’s still in the regular rotation. Only Sandra Boynton could portray a contented frog or a dog that’s lost all his fizz in such a charming way. (I feel your pain, pup.)

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz is the original grumpy day book. When I was younger, I was always miffed that Alexander’s day never got any better. Now I can relate. “Some days are like that. Even in Australia.”

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard.  Don’t let the happy ending fool you; there is plenty of grumpy in this book. When Grumpy Bird’s friends join him on his morning walk (what with him being too grumpy to fly), their cheerfulness annoys him. While Grumpy Bird’s friends are happy and sweet, it’s his general snarkiness that makes me laugh every time.

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won is all about the bright illustrations for me. The text is short and snappy, so it makes a great bedtime book when I just need to go to sleep after a grumpy day. Plus the kids at our house can’t help but yell “Hooray for Hat!” along with the animals, which goes a long way to chasing away even my most stubborn bad mood.


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