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Grumpy Bird
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Grumpy Bird

4.5 4
by Jeremy Tankard

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Bird wakes up feeling grumpy. Too grumpy to eat or play -- too grumpy even to fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," says Bird. He walks past Sheep, who offers to keep him company. He walks past Rabbit, who also could use a walk. Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox join in, too. Before he knows it, a little exercise and companionship help Bird shake his bad mood.


Bird wakes up feeling grumpy. Too grumpy to eat or play -- too grumpy even to fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," says Bird. He walks past Sheep, who offers to keep him company. He walks past Rabbit, who also could use a walk. Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox join in, too. Before he knows it, a little exercise and companionship help Bird shake his bad mood.

Praised by the Wall Street Journal as "comic perfection," this winsome, refreshingly original picture book is sure to help kids (and grown-ups) giggle away their grumpies, too! Bird's impeckably crafted, hilarious melodramas continue in the Grumpy Bird board book, Boo Hoo Bird, Hungry Bird, and coming in 2018, Sleepy Bird.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Awards and Praise for Grumpy Bird:

An LA Times Favorite Book of 2007

“Comic perfection.” –The Wall Street Journal

“Hilarious.” –The LA Times

“Tankard's illustrations alone will cheer up any bad mood.” –Parent & Child Magazine, Teachers' Picks, April 2007

“A way out of a bad mood for surly birds, whatever their species.” –Publishers Weekly

“A good addition to storytimes.” –School Library Journal

Praise for Boo Hoo Bird:

“Mood master Jeremy Tankard succeeds again.” –Time Out New York

“Like Mo Willems…Tankard takes the worldview of the toddler seriously while appreciating its humor. He has distilled his insight into the toddler mind into dramas that are the pint-size equivalent of Shakespeare.” –The LA Times

“Bet high on this becoming another storytime winner, just like its predecessor.” –Booklist

“Distinctive.” –Horn Book

“Playful pacing and taut expressions capture the humor and vulnerability of Bird and his gang. This selection will resonate.” –Kirkus Reviews

“With its blend of realism and exaggeration, condolence and humor, this may well turn a sympathetic 'Boo hoo hoo!' into a family standby in times of bonkitude.” –BCCB

Praise for Hungry Bird:

“Bird is over-the-top, self-absorbed, melodramatic, and hilarious…A delightful romp.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Picky eaters will be laughing along and trying new things in no time with this funny installment of Bird and friends. A recommended purchase perfect for storytime or small group sharing that will be in high demand.” –School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

Anyone can sympathize with a blue bird who wakes up on the wrong side of the nest. Bird, whose rounded head is outlined in a thick swath of ink, squeezes one eye shut while scowling with the other. He hunches his shoulders like a budgie. The branches of his tree are rendered in diluted swipes of ink, and the sky, a weighty underwater blue despite the optimistic rising sun, mirrors his mood. Bird "was too grumpy to play. In fact, he was too grumpy to fly. 'Looks like I'm walking today,' said Bird." Squinting, Bird stomps through the meadow on pinlike legs, encountering animals one at a time. Each greets him and casually asks, "What are you doing?" Bird does not welcome their friendly overtures ("Let me give you a hint... You do it by placing one foot in front of the other"), yet they join him on his hike, and soon he leads a parade of a Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver and Fox. In their playful company, Bird finds it hard to stay grumpy. Graphic illustrator Tankard, a contributor to Wild Outdoor World making his children's book debut, draws his cartoonish animals in brushlike strokes of carbon-black ink, and digitally tints the forest scenery. His appealing title and cover close-up of the hero say it all: this uncomplicated paper-over-board book describes a common condition and a way out of a bad mood for surly birds, whatever their species. Ages 3-5. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
When Grumpy Bird wakes up, he is even too grumpy to fly. As he walks past Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox, each asks what he is doing. When he sarcastically replies "walking," with other added impatient remarks, each animal in turn decides he'd like to come, too. They all walk along behind him, stopping when he does, then standing on one leg, then jumping, just like him. Grumpy Bird decides that he is really having fun doing this; he's not grumpy any more. When he invites them all to fly back to his nest for a snack, somehow they all do! The illustrations show a cast of very abstractly visualized animals set in ambiguous landscapes, with an occasional photograph of a house or trees and frequent beds of attractive multicolored flowers. All are created with ink and digital media. The backgrounds and foregrounds change color, perhaps brightening with Grumpy's mood. The very simply-told tale, printed in large type, might be just the thing to cheer a grumpy reader.
School Library Journal
Bird wakes up one morning feeling out of sorts-too grumpy to eat, too grumpy to play, and even too grumpy to fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," he grumbles. On his way, he passes a succession of happy-go-lucky animals, including a sheep, a rabbit, and a beaver, all of whom ask him what he is doing. "Walking," he responds, more and more testily, and each creature decides to join him. Eventually, the walk turns into an impromptu game of follow-the-leader, and Bird finds himself having so much fun that he forgets to be grumpy. Finally, he invites them all to fly back to his nest with him, and, oddly enough, they do. This straightforward story is enlivened by unusual mixed-media illustrations. Each scene consists of sketches of farmland or trees, layered over photographs of real farms and trees. Cheerful flowers and stars are scribbled throughout. The animal characters are simplistic cartoons with thick black outlines and comical facial expressions. The slightly psychedelic quality of the art works to foreshadow the whimsical ending, which otherwise comes as a surprise after the wry, sarcastic tone of the rest of the story. Grumpy Bird would make a good addition to storytimes with themes of emotions or imagination.
—Rachael VilmarCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Bird is grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that he gives up flying in favor of a summer stroll. During his promenade, Bird acquires a follow-the-leader, copycat bestiary whose action-packed antics ("Bird stopped. The other animals stopped") ultimately lift his spirits. The double-paged spreads saturated in rich colors host an array of expressive animal characters outlined with thick black brushstrokes. These child-like figures are given depth through a combination of digitally rendered background images and flower, tree and geometric motifs that mirror the patterning of the simple prose. The ending is whimsical and funny as Fox, Beaver and company flies back to a revitalized Bird's nest for-shudder-a worm meal. Since imitation is a trademark of toddlerhood, keep this energetic picture book in mind for wee storytime members. (Picture book. 1-4)
Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
The popular 2007 picture book Grumpy Bird is reformatted here as a board book for younger children. As Bird, who has a case of the grumps so severe he doesn’t even want to fly, goes on a walk, his friends join him one by one Even though Bird is having a miserable time, they all think it looks fun. Even his sarcastic and frustrated responses will not deter his friends. “Why does everyone want to know what I’m doing?!” he shouts at them. But they all keep walking, goofily mimicking his actions, and eventually, Bird’s grumpy mood fades away. He invites his friends back to his nest for a snack to celebrate. The illustrations and the font size fit well on the sturdy thick pages. For those whose tiny listeners need something durable, this is a fun read aloud. Reviewer: Emily Griffin; Ages 1 to 3.

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
280L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Jeremy Tankard’s BIRD series, including GRUMPY BIRD, BOO HOO BIRD, and HUNGRY BIRD, are bestsellers in his native Canada. He has also illustrated Rachel Vail’s PIGGY BUNNY (Feiwel and Friends), and David LaRochelle’s IT’S A TIGER (Chronicle Books). He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two children. You can visit him online at www.jeremytankard.com.

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Grumpy Bird 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Mommu_Ring More than 1 year ago
Being kind, being patient, being quiet- there are so many picture books about good and bad behavior. But what about being grumpy? This funny story about a blue bird in sneakers who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed is great to read with your little one. Each of the animals Bird encounters on his grumpy walk has a unique personality, giving the storyteller an opportunity to get creative. Bird's responses positively drip sarcasm, which help make the experience of reading this story out loud for the hundreth time as enjoyable as that of the first. Trust me- you'll be asked to read this book again and again. The payoff? Bird learns that if you give it a chance, Fun can beat out feeling Grumpy. This book might not teach a huge lesson, but it deals with a common childhood (and adult) issue and reminds us how to deal with it properly. Listen to those around you and get happy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have read this book to many children and they love it. They can relate to being grumpy. It is a great and fun book to read to kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago