The Grumpy Woods dislike Wallace Woodpecker only slightly less than the Super Happy Party Bears. They find his pecking preposterously loud, but the bears think Wallace is beating a nice rhythmit's great for early-morning dancercise! The bears convince Wallace he has great skills to offer the woods, and they give him ideas for unsolicited handy work. Instead of endearing him to the neighbors, it annoys them even more. Can the bears really help this noisy neighbor?
Read all the Super Happy Party Bears adventures:
Super Happy Party Bears: Gnawing Around
Super Happy Party Bears: Staying a Hive
Super Happy Party Bears: Going Nuts
Super Happy Party Bears: Bat to the Bone
Super Happy Party Bears: The Jitterbug
Super Happy Party Bears: Tiny Prancer
Super Happy Party Bears: Cruising for a Snoozing
An Imprint Book
"The pure delight of the story will easily draw youngsters in and probably turn a few grumpy frowns upside down." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)
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About the Author
Steve James has ten years experience in the art industry (animation, greeting cards and video game artwork). Super Happy Party Bears is his first children’s book. Steve’s art is influenced by Adventure Time, Oliver Jeffers and walks in the countryside. He lives near Leeds, a vibrant city in the United Kingdom.
Read an Excerpt
Super Happy Party Bears
Knock Knock on Wood
By Marcie Colleen, Steve James
MacmillanCopyright © 2016 Imprint
All rights reserved.
Welcome to the Grumpy Woods!
Well, not really. Just kidding. You may as well just turn around and go back. No one is welcome here. The rock wall should have made that clear.
It might not be a big wall, but it makes its point. You see, there used to be a tall wooden fence to keep out certain folks — especially bears. Especially bears who like to dance and sing and make doughnuts and have parties. But then a bunch of beavers chewed it down and used it for their dam. It's kind of a sore point around here.
In fact, there is a new Mayoral Decree regarding beavers. Let me see your teeth — you aren't a beaver, are you? Beavers are no longer welcome in the Grumpy Woods. But that is a different story from a different book.
Of course, right now you might be thinking, Bears are cute and Parties are fun and What's so bad about beavers? Cut it out. The animals of the Grumpy Woods do not agree, because every animal here is, well, grumpy.
That upturned log in the center of the woods is City Hall. No, it's not really a hall. It's often confused with other upturned logs in the Grumpy Woods, which really irks Mayor Quill. So he ordered a brand-new sign to officially mark it. He's really proud of that sign.
Well, Mayor Quill held a very official meeting at City Hall. Everyone — from Opal Owl to Dawn Fawn — attended.
At that particular meeting, it was decided that new measures must be taken to keep strangers out of the Grumpy Woods. No one wanted to take any chances after the Beaver Incident.
So even though all welcome signs, welcome mats, and mailboxes had already been removed, and the Welcome Wagon had been rolled off the Grumpy Cliff by an official decree of the mayor, the townscritters decided to take further action to keep the Grumpy Woods free of intruders.
Everyone voted. And that was that. It was very official.
Humphrey Hedgehog, assistant deputy to Mayor Quill, presented his blueprints for a new and improved Grumpy Fence. It wasn't so much a fence as a towering wall made of the heftiest rocks this side of the Grumpy River.
Construction started right away.
However, Bernice Bunny and Dawn Fawn struggled under the weight of the boulders.
After only five minutes on the job, Opal Owl went on strike, claiming she was molting from the stress of carrying such heavy rocks.
And one of the largest stones got away from Squirrelly Sam and rolled onto Sherry Snake. It took the entire crew to free her.
When it was finished, it wasn't towering at all. It wasn't really even much of a wall. It was more like a pile. So Humphrey made everyone gather a bunch of twigs to stick along the top of it.
It isn't a very impressive "fence." But don't say that to Humphrey.
He does not want to admit the project was a disaster. He insists that Sherry still patrol along the fence twice a day.
And so, every day, everyone in the Grumpy Woods wakes up already needing a nap, takes a quick ride on a mood swing, and orders up some breakfast — two hot cross buns and a bowlful of Who cares!
That is, everyone except the Super Happy Party Bears!
See the mailboxes dangling like ornaments from the shrubbery? And the welcome mats stacked like a house of cards to create a cozy canopy in front of the main entrance?
That's the Party Patch, the HEADQUARTERS OF FUN — where the Super Happy Party Bears have made their home. Life is very different there. Life is super. Life is happy. And life is full of parties!
If you follow the carefully placed sticks, laid out in the shape of arrows up the flower-lined path, you'll see the welcome sign out front. On top of the sign sits a little stick-figure diorama that includes the likeness of each Grumpy Woods neighbor. They are wearing party hats and dancing. The leader of the party appears to be Mayor Quill.
See, while the others in the Grumpy Woods can't stand the bears, the Super Happy Party Bears adore their neighbors, especially the mayor.
And so, on a beautiful morning such as this, the Super Happy Party Bears get up at YAY O'CLOCK, take a quick walk on sunshine, and order up some breakfast — a bowlful of awesome sauce and a short stack of Hot Diggity Dogs!
Nothing annoys the critters of the Grumpy Woods more.
Except when the bears have a party.
And they are always having a party.CHAPTER 2
Knock knock, knockity knock.
All morning long, a rhythmic tapping had been shaking every leaf and disturbing every critter in the Grumpy Woods. Humphrey the Hedgehog was on an official mission to put an end to the racket. He couldn't be happier. It was his longtime dream to evict the Super Happy Party Bears from the Grumpy Woods once and for all. Because whoever got rid of the Super Happy Party Bears would be a hero. And everyone knows that heroes can have statues of themselves in parks and have holidays on their birthdays and, most important, become mayors.
Mayor Quill was a fine mayor. But, truthfully, Humphrey thought the porcupine was a bit of a softie sometimes. He required evidence before tossing the bears out. Well, this time the evidence could be heard echoing off the trees. Knock knock, knockity knock.
Mayor Quill had declared by order of Mayoral Decree 427 that knocking was not permitted in the Grumpy Woods. No one really visited anyone else anyway, so knocking on doors was no longer necessary. But it was up to Humphrey to find out who was to blame for the noise. Humphrey was pretty sure he knew where to start.
As he turned up the path to the Party Patch, lined with cheerful flowers and arrows made of twigs pointing toward the welcoming door, Humphrey stumbled over one of the twigs.
"Harrumph!" Humphrey kicked all the twigs, causing them to scatter. "Try following that path!" he muttered as he trudged on.
Once at the door, Humphrey banged loudly to be heard over the commotion inside. Official mayoral business allowed for the breaking of Mayoral Decree 427.
"You need to say 'Knock knock,'" instructed a voice on the other side of the door.
"Knock. Knock," he repeated.
"Who's there?" sang out the voice on the other side.
"Humphrey Hedgehog, assistant deputy to the mayor, His Excellency. I am on —"
"Humphrey who?" interrupted the melodic voice.
"OPEN THIS DOOR AT ONCE!" yelled Humphrey.
"You didn't say 'please,'" the voice sang out. This was true. And Humphrey didn't see the harm in being polite.
"Please open this door," said Humphrey.
The door swung wide open, revealing a dance party of epic proportions.
"HUMPHREY!" the bears all cheered.
And before he could object, Humphrey was pulled into the Party Patch, where a party hat was slapped on his spines and a cup of apple juice was put into his paw.
"I'm actually here on very important official business," said Humphrey, trying desperately to be heard over the music.
"What?" asked the bears. "We can't hear you." They continued to dance to the strong thumping bass.
"Very. Important. Official.
Business," yelled Humphrey. "ABOUT THE MUSIC!"
"Isn't it FABULOUS?" asked Shades, peering over his star glasses.
"It's the best music ever!" exclaimed Mops as he flipped his mop-top hair to the beat.
Even the bubbles Bubs was calmly blowing in the corner seemed to bounce in rhythm. In fact, the entire Party Patch was shaking with the music.
Humphrey marched over to the Super Happy Party Band and grabbed the microphone out of Ziggy's paw, replacing it with his own cup of juice.
"WE LOVE KARAOKE!" cheered Ziggy.
"SUPER HAPPY KARAOKE TIME! SUPER HAPPY KARAOKE TIME!" the bears chanted, and did their Super Happy Party Dance.
One by one, Humphrey snatched the instruments away from the band — Jigs's maracas, Little Puff's xylophone, and Flips's trumpet (which was really just an inventive way of using his party hat). Then, with a spiny hip-check, he sent Big Puff sliding across the dance floor, away from his pots-and-pans drum set and straight into a conga line.
Yet even without the Super Happy Party Band, the beat went on. But how?
Humphrey was flabbergasted.
Just then the littlest bear tugged on Humphrey's sleeve.
"Would you care to sing a duet?" said the littlest bear, looking at the microphone still in Humphrey's paw.
"What in the world is causing that horrendous knocking?" asked Humphrey, dropping all the instruments to cover his ears.
"Not what in the world," said the littlest bear. "Who in the trees!" And he pointed out the window to a woodpecker pecking a beat into every darn tree in the woods.CHAPTER 3
Humphrey stood at the bottom of a tree and looked up. Wallace Woodpecker was drumming with his beak, and by now it had given Humphrey a major headache.
"Excuse me," Humphrey called. "By order of the mayor, I am going to have to ask you to stop that noise this instant."
But Wallace could not hear Humphrey.
Small flakes of bark drifted to the ground like snowflakes as Wallace pecked on. A few chips fell onto Humphrey's nose, and he quickly harrumphed them off.
Using Flips's party hat as a megaphone, Humphrey tried once more. "You, in the tree! I need to ask you to stop that. Immediately!"
The drumming stopped.
"I think he has a song request," explained the littlest bear.
"Oh, okay. I thought maybe I did something wrong," said Wallace, and he flew down to take Humphrey's request.
"Actually, I'm here on official business," said Humphrey. "You have to stop drumming. By order of the mayor."
"What did I do wrong?" asked Wallace.
"NOTHING!" cheered the bears. Humphrey scowled.
"I'll ask the questions here," said Humphrey. "Firstly, who are you?"
"Wallace Woodpecker," Wallace answered.
"He's our new friend!" the bears quickly added, and cheered.
Humphrey stayed focused on his interrogation and made notes on his clipboard. "Where did you come from, Wallace? I've never seen you around the Grumpy Woods before."
"Oh, I just got here!" said Wallace. "They invited me." He pointed to the bears, who beamed proudly at their feathered buddy.
"We were out for a stroll this morning when we heard the most magnificent drumming," explained Mops.
"It was perfect for sunrise dancercising," added Jacks.
"So we invited Wallace to share his most excellent skills with the rest of the neighbors," continued Big Puff.
"In hopes that it would bring us all together," said the littlest bear sweetly.
"And it did! Humphrey's here!" the bears cheered.
"One last question: How did you get over the Grumpy Fence?" Humphrey was referring to his personal magnum opus, the newest piece of architecture in the Grumpy Woods, designed to keep out all intruders. As mentioned in Chapter One, it was really just a small pile of rocks and twigs.
Wallace simply fluttered his wings. "I flew!"
Humphrey growled. Obviously they needed a taller fence.
"Well, I am going to have to cite you for disrupting the peace in the Grumpy Woods," scolded Humphrey. "And you do not have a permit to perform music in public. So you must stop this instant."
"What is a permit?" asked Mops.
"If you have to ask, you don't have one," snapped Humphrey.
"I'm so sorry," said Wallace, hanging his head in shame. "I was only trying to be a good neighbor."
"Good neighbors don't make noise," whispered Humphrey.
The bears gathered around to comfort Wallace as Humphrey turned on his heel and left. Only one problem ...
"How do you get out of this place?" Humphrey called back to the bears.
"Follow the twig arrows on the flower-lined path," they replied.
Humphrey looked down at the disheveled pile that used to be the twig arrows. How was he supposed to follow that? He spun around to complain, and his paw slipped on a loose twig.
Humphrey slid to the right. He hopped to the left. He wobbled on one foot, which caused him to shimmy and shake. And when he started to lose his balance, he quickly struck a pose. It all looked very familiar to the bears.CHAPTER 4
"It's no use," sobbed Wallace as he flitted back up the trunk of the tree and gathered his belongings in his knapsack. "I'll never fit in anywhere!"
"Don't say that, Wallace," said the littlest bear. "You belong here with us."
"Birds of a feather stick together," proclaimed Bubs. He placed his party hat on his nose as if it were a beak. The bears ooohed and slowly nodded in agreement.
"You don't understand," explained Wallace. "I've flown just about everywhere. But it's always the same. After a while, I am told my pecking is too noisy and I'm kicked out. I'll never find a home."
"We LOVE your pecking!" cheered the bears.
"It makes me happy," added the littlest bear, giving his tush a little shake.
"But it made everyone else in the Grumpy Woods angry. I can't stay here now," said Wallace.
"Sure you can," said Big Puff. "All you have to do is show them hepcats there's more to you."
"There's nothing more to me," sobbed Wallace. "Nothing I do is good enough."
Just then, Flips looked at Wallace through his telescope (again, yet another use for his party hat) and spied something in the tree trunk behind him. Wallace's pecking had carved a beautiful design of swirls and curls into the bark.
"What is that?" asked Flips.
Wallace blushed and tried to hide the handiwork with his wings. "It's nothing. Just a little something I do. It's doodles mostly. Nothing special."
All the bears took turns viewing the masterpiece through Flips's telescope.
"IT'S BARK-TASTIC!" they all agreed.
However, Wallace explained that no one had a need for such woodworking. He had been all over, and no matter where he went, he was told to leave the trees alone.
"Sounds like you've been pecking up the wrong trees," said Mops.
"We have plenty of trees here in the Grumpy Woods," said Little Puff. "Well, we did have lots of trees, before the beavers used them to build their lodge. But more are growing in."
"I'm not welcome here," said Wallace. "You heard that angry fellow with the spikes."
Wallace had a point. Humphrey had said that Wallace must stop drumming by order of the mayor. That sounded pretty official.
"Well, if you have to leave," said Ziggy, "let's at least play you some Super Happy exit music."
The Super Happy Party Band gathered their instruments from the pile that Humphrey had dropped them in.
"One problem," said Jigs. "My maracas broke." She held up the sad pair of busted shakers.
"No worries," said Ziggy. "We can find a substitute."
"SEARCH PARTY!" cheered the bears as they looked for standin maracas. They tested every pinecone, leaf, and small stone, but nothing seemed to work — until ...
"Here ya go," said Wallace, handing Jigs two perfectly whittled wooden maracas. Little seeds rattled inside. The handles had been carved with care and a note was attached to one of them.
"You made these?" asked Jigs, admiring Wallace's handiwork.
The woodpecker blushed. "Just a little something to remember me by." And he turned to leave.
"Wait!" said the bears. "You can't go!"
Wallace stopped, unsure of what the bears meant.
"Everyone needs a handyman to fix things up and make them beautiful," explained Mops. "Even in the Grumpy Woods!"
"Helping out is the perfect way to get neighbors to love you!" cheered the bears.
"Yeah. You can be our super SUPER!" said the littlest bear.
"Really? I can stay?" asked Wallace as the bears all surrounded him in a big bear hug. "HOORAY!Wait. What's a super?"CHAPTER 5
The bears explained that a super was simply a supervisor who made sure everything was shipshape around the neighborhood and that Wallace would be responsible for repairs around the Grumpy Woods. Wallace liked the sound of that. After all, he just wanted to make the other townscritters happy.
So the bears all got right to work transforming Wallace into the superest super the Grumpy Woods could have. First, a tool belt, a button-down shirt that read WALLY, and a set of keys would help Wallace look the part. The keys didn't actually open any doors in the Grumpy Woods. They were, in reality, just spoons. But the littlest bear insisted that the jingling noise was essential to the uniform.
Next, the bears provided Wallace with a map that showed every residence in the Grumpy Woods, with each home clearly labeled. That way, even those hidden I want to be left alone homes — like Bernice Bunny's — could be easily located.
Excerpted from Super Happy Party Bears by Marcie Colleen, Steve James. Copyright © 2016 Imprint. Excerpted by permission of Macmillan.
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