Smile

Overview

Grumpy Land got its name for one very simple reason: Every citizen, man and woman, old and young, poor and rich, is grumpy. Even the King and Queen and their five children are great big grumps.

But that all changed with the birth of Prince Grumpy the Sixth. No one could explain the strange look on his face (it had been so long since anyone had seen a smile). Some thought he was ill; others chalked it up to a bad case of gas. Word of this mysterious child spread to all four ...

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Overview

Grumpy Land got its name for one very simple reason: Every citizen, man and woman, old and young, poor and rich, is grumpy. Even the King and Queen and their five children are great big grumps.

But that all changed with the birth of Prince Grumpy the Sixth. No one could explain the strange look on his face (it had been so long since anyone had seen a smile). Some thought he was ill; others chalked it up to a bad case of gas. Word of this mysterious child spread to all four corners of Grumpy Land, and before they realized it, the people were doing something they had never done before: smiling.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Rowe's celebration of the magic of a smile takes place in Grumpy Town, a "far away land" where none of the anthropomorphic animal inhabitants ever smile, for they have forgotten how. King and Queen Grumpy have five sons, Prince Grumpy the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth, none of whom ever smile either. When the sixth son is born, they fear he is ill because of the strange look on his face. Doctors cannot figure it out. We readers can see immediately, however, that he is smiling. The people worry about catching his disease, but as the smile spreads from King to Queen to the people, so does happiness. The happy ending has an amusing twist. Rowe uses the large pages to create a humorous cast of characters, clothe them appropriately, and give them engaging activities, on full pages and in vignettes. The cover introduces the smiling prince on his royal purple throne, flanked by a pair of scowling uniformed cats. The assorted characters are set in dramatic scenes filled with scores of delightful details. Do not miss the characters on the back and the end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

King Grumpy, a stately bulldog, never smiles. Neither do his wife or his sons-Princes Grumpy the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth. Hence, all of the residents of Grumpy Land (which looks suspiciously like a topsy-turvy version of Victorian London) have forgotten how to smile. The gloomy land is depicted in somber tones of eggplant and mustard, and long indigo shadows. Upon the birth of Prince Grumpy the Sixth, then, the townspeople are dismayed to see a strange expression on his face. Doctors examine him to no avail, and the terrible news spreads throughout the land. Then it gets worse: the strange expression appears on the king's face, and then on the queen's and the princes'. Before long, everyone is wearing it, and they must admit that it looks "well, rather nice!" The color palette brightens to include lighter grays, reds, and jaunty greens. Prince Grumpy the Sixth is soon known as Prince Smiley. The story ends with a twist, as he marries and has a son, who is born with a grumpy face. Luckily, that terrible expression turns out to be caused by gas. Rowe's signature illustrations are packed with fantastically dignified animals straight out of Lewis Carroll. They have the static quality of formal portraiture, combined with the sophistication of New Yorker cartoons. The wryly decorous tone of the narrative draws readers into this silly story, and combines with the irresistible illustrations to weave a perfectly ridiculous tale.-Rachael Vilmar, Eastern Shore Regional Library, Salisbury, MD

Kirkus Reviews
Grumpy Land isn't a fun place to be. As one might expect from the name, no one smiles; indeed, everyone, from the royal family on down, has forgotten how. Then one day, along comes Prince Grumpy the Sixth, who wears an odd look on his face. Doctors rush from far and wide to examine the newborn and diagnose his disfigurement. Readers will quickly notice that the "ailment" is a bright smile, soon adopted by the king, queen and royal siblings and then by all their subjects. All ends well as everyone keeps on smiling, and the next generation brings forth a happily grinning new royal. Rowe's art is colorful and charming and includes quirky details; the all-animal cast is endearing, particularly their bulldog majesties. In the end, however, while the story may elicit some smiles among readers, with so little actual plot, this is a bland and predictable effort. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780698400887
  • Publisher: Minedition
  • Publication date: 10/16/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

John A. Rowe lives in Austria.

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