The seventh book in a funny chapter book series filled with full-color illustrations and adorable animals!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the Grumpy Woodsthe Great Hibernation! Mayor Quill, Humphrey Hedgehog, and the rest of the animals are looking forward to some much-needed rest, but the Super Happy Party Bears want to add more YAY to the holidayby delivering homemade presents!
When the critters of the Grumpy Woods wish for a heavy snowfall to avoid the bears’ cheer, they end up getting completely snowed in at the Grumpy Bog. In the spirit of the season, the bears enlist Dawn Fawn to pull a sleigh full of fa-la-la-la cheer to rescue their neighbors and save the holiday!
Read all the Super Happy Party Bears adventures:
Super Happy Party Bears: Gnawing Around
Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood
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: 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)
About the Author
Marcie Colleen is the author of the picture books, Love, Triangle (2017) and The Adventure of the Penguinaut (2018). She’s a former classroom teacher and current Educational Consultant for the Picture Book Month initiative. She also creates Teacher’s Guides for picture books and middle grade novels and is a huge advocate for using children's fictional literature in the classroom.
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 series. 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
Welcome to the Grumpy Woods!
'Tis the season before the Great Hibernation. A season of kindness. A season of goodwill and cheer. A season to gather with loved ones. So, grab anything jolly and joyous and jingle all the way — back where you came from!
That's right. Scoot, before Sheriff Sherry hauls you off to City Hall. You do not want to be fined for unlawful tinsel tails or yule yaks. This time of year, it's quiet time. Perfect for a long winter's nap.
Now don't go misunderstanding. It's not that all the critters in the Grumpy Woods are hibernators. It's just that everyone needs a break occasionally. Being grumpy can be extremely exhausting, and the townscritters like to have some downtime. And what better season to curl up and enjoy some solitude than winter?
But the townscritters just don't like all the hoopla of the pre-hibernation holiday season. They would rather skip it and head straight for bed. They don't understand the need to gather together and celebrate before the big sleep.
Why? you ask.
Perhaps their crankypants are too tight.
Perhaps their tails aren't screwed on just right.
It could be that they are simply GRUMPY! Stop trying to analyze it. Just scram!
This past year has been tough on the critters in the Grumpy Woods. Between chipmunk and squirrel rumbles, unruly pet caterpillars, and a constant array of intruders — from honeybees to punk bats — it's been one disaster after another. The last thing the townscritters want to do is have another party.
Every year is the same. Just as the townscritters are fluffing their pillows and curling up for some well-deserved rest, the Super Happy Party Bears parade in to "Bring More Yay to the Holiday!" The bears lift their voices in a chorus of merriment while pulling wagons full of shiny- wrapped presents and holiday treats. The bears' gifts are always too loud, too colorful, and downright useless!
Last year Mayor Quill held an official meeting at City Hall. (City Hall is really just an upturned log, not actually a hall of any sort.)
The Super Happy Party Bears were not invited to the meeting.
At that meeting, everyone — from Squirrelly Sam to Dawn Fawn — brainstormed a list of ways to stop the bears' holiday partying.
Humphrey Hedgehog suggested Operation Play Possum, in which all the townscritters would pretend to be asleep when the bears arrived with their holiday haul. Everyone grumbled about it, but no one had a better idea. So they voted. That was that. It was very official.
For days, the townscritters were on edge, ready to "stop, drop, and snore" the second the bears showed up. The big moment came during the last City Hall meeting of the year. Just as Mayor Quill was about to bang his gavel to bring order to the room, the sound of a dozen furry feet tugging wagon after wagon of festive fun rolled up outside.
By the time the bears entered City Hall, the critters were posed in slumber. But it didn't stop the bears. Instead, they decorated the snoozing pile of neighbors with tinsel, glittery pinecones, popcorn and cranberry garlands, and twinkling lights. Lastly, they stacked presents around the townscritters, placed a plate of tasty treats beside each sleepyhead, and tiptoed out.
The townscritters weren't sure that the bears had left, so they remained that way for a long time. Eventually, they really did fall asleep and awoke several hours later with sprinkles and frosting stuck to their faces and tinsel pasted everywhere else. It took hours to untangle themselves from garlands and twinkle lights. They looked like a grouchy ball of holiday spirit gone horribly wrong.
And so, even today, everyone in the Grumpy Woods still wakes up with scraps of tinsel stuck to their toes and orders up some breakfast — a triple-decker sauerkraut and toadstool sandwich and a heaping spoonful of Bah humbug!
That is, everyone except the Super Happy Party Bears.
The Super Happy Party Bears love the holiday season!
If you follow the carefully placed sticks, laid out in the shape of arrows, up the flower-lined path, you'll see a welcome sign. That's Party Patch, the Headquarters of Fun. Life there is very different. Life is super. LIFE IS HAPPY. Life is full of parties!
And so, every holiday, those jolly happy souls order up a feast — a bowlful of jelly that shakes when they laugh with an extra dash of Fa-la-la-la-la!!
Nothing annoys the critters of the Grumpy Woods more.
Except when the bears have a party.
And they are always having a party.
This year, the bears were planning the biggest holiday yet. Every inch of the Party Patch looked like it had been hit by a blizzard — a super jolly holiday blizzard. The Super Happy Party Bears scurried about, in and out of piles of ornaments, clouds of sawdust, and colorful bowls of this and that. To Squirrelly Sam, who spied through the window, it looked like utter chaos. But inside, everything was going exactly as planned.
First, the Decoration Committee made sure anything and everything within reach was glitter-glued and covered with ribbons and beads, then repurposed on a wreath or a bunch of twigs or strung into a garland. Some of the decorations would stay at the Party Patch, but many would be shared around the woods.
One year the bears created sparkly wind chimes out of salt-and pepper shakers. When the wind blew, a tinkling tune was accompanied by sprinkling salt to look like snow. However, the bears used both salt and pepper, which set off a lot of wheezing and sneezing from the townscritters — a chorus that the Super Happy Party Band cheerfully set to music.
Next, the Baking Committee was focused on frosting sheets of sugar cookies to look like their Grumpy friends as other goodies simmered, bubbled, and baked in the kitchen. While Little Puff's cookies looked remarkably lifelike, the others were more artistic in their interpretations.
Jacks held up a cookie he was just finishing. "This is Mayor Quill after he ate a messy red lollipop."
"This is Opal Owl with Big Puff's hairdo," said Mops.
Once the cookie neighbors were completed, they would be placed in a gingerbread version of the woods, complete with pretzel-stick trees, a popcorn Grumpy Wall, and a Grumpy Bramble made from berries, of course.
Lastly, the rest of the bears took on perhaps the most important preparation of all: gift making!
Earlier they had gone house to house in the Grumpy Woods asking every townscritter what they would like for the holiday. In past years, the townscritters would scoff and huff and refuse to engage in such silliness. But this year, to the bears' surprise, each townscritter quickly offered up a holiday wish. A few even smiled.
"Sheriff Sherry wants ssssockssss," the littlest bear read from the list.
"I wonder why," said Jigs. "She doesn't have any feet."
Bubs, the voice of party wisdom, was there to explain. "She meant a sock snake doll."
"Can you imagine anything cuter than Sheriff Sherry snuggled up with a sock snake?" sighed the littlest bear happily.
"Who wants to make a sock doll for Sherry?" asked Jigs, adding the word snake after sock on the list.
The littlest bear raised his paw. He was an expert at making friends out of socks.
Jigs continued to read. "Humphrey Hedgehog would like some new underwear. I'll do that. I have a new design for undies that make a sound like maracas when you walk."
Squirrelly Sam gasped, his nose pressed up against the window and his mouth wide open. He had seen and heard enough. Clearly, something had to be done to stop the holiday.
Sam arrived at City Hall just as the mayor was about to bring the meeting to a close.
"STOP!" yelled Sam, leaping across the tops of heads to get to the podium.
"Sam, just because you missed the meeting doesn't mean you can barge in here —" lectured Mayor Quill.
"UNDERWEAR IS NO LONGER BORING!" blurted Sam from atop the podium. "And socks and fruitcake!" Sam referred to the list of gift ideas the townscritters had given the bears.
This year, everyone agreed to ask for boring gifts in hopes they might stump the bears and take the fun out of the holiday. Perhaps the lack of gifts would stop the celebration altogether. But Sam's snooping had revealed that this wasn't the case.
"What are you talking about?" asked Mayor Quill.
"They are making it all!" screamed Sam.
"WhoOOOO said frOOOOtcake?" asked Opal.
"It's a CAKE! The bears love cake."
"But it's gross cake!" defended Bernice. "What did you ask for?"
"An ugly sweater," said Opal.
"Oh, it's a regular knitting factory at Party Patch. Sweaters for us all!" shrieked Sam.
Frantic murmurs bubbled up from the gathered bunch.
"I don't look good in sweaters!"
"How can underwear not be boring?"
"I will not eat fruitcake."
"Please! Everyone! Order!" yelled Quill as he banged his gavel on the podium. "No need to panic. Let's not give up hope. Surely they will be stumped by some of our wishes. I promise we will have a pleasant and peaceful pre-hibernation here in the Grumpy Woods."
"What did you asssssk for?" Sherry asked the mayor.
"A train with square wheels on its caboose," stated Mayor Quill proudly.
Bernice rolled her eyes. "You're right. Can't imagine them figuring that one out."
"But when they try to drive it over here," explained the mayor, "the caboose will drag and slow them down!" City Hall erupted once more with alarm.
"I won't eat fruitcake, either."
"We need a Plan B!"
At the mention of a Plan B, all eyes turned to Humphrey. He was usually chock-full of ideas and plans, complete with blueprints. Everyone waited.
"I told you before this was a bad idea," murmured Humphrey from his spot right next to Mayor Quill's podium.
"Well, Mr. I-Asked-for-Underwear, what do you propose we do?" snapped Mayor Quill.
"This year," said Humphrey smugly, "I have no time to waste on the Super Happy Party Bears. I will take my real holiday wish directly to the source. The Grand Cranberry."
"The Grand Cranberry?"
"Whoever heard of the Grand Cranberry?"
"Are there cranberries in fruitcake?"
"The Grand Cranberry is a tart yet good-willed soul," explained Humphrey. "And every year on Hibernation Eve, he rises from the Grumpy Bog and floats through the air with his bags of presents for everyone."
"Good grief," said Mayor Quill. "Believing in a magical gift-bearing berry? That's your plan?"
"If you will excuse me, sir," said Humphrey, "I must prepare for the Grand Cranberry's arrival. While you are all sitting around in your ugly sweaters eating fruitcake, I plan to get what I really want this holiday season."
With a harrumph, Humphrey turned to exit, and the townscritters erupted into a fit of giggles.
Before Humphrey turned the doorknob to leave, there came a knock.
KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK!
"Maybe it's King Kumquat," laughed Bernice Bunny.
"Or the Royal Raissssin," chortled Sherry.
Humphrey did not laugh.
But when Mayor Quill opened the door, his smile quickly disappeared. Standing in a horseshoe were the Super Happy Party Bears wearing mittens and knit caps. They beamed from ear to ear. Jacks stood at the center holding a sign.
"WHOOOO is it?" asked Opal.
Jacks turned the sign around to reveal the words TELL THEM IT'S CAROL SINGERS.
"It's carol singers," answered Mayor Quill, clenching his teeth. The rest of the townscritters gathered around.
Tunes hit PLAY on her boom box, and all the bears began to sing about snowflakes and sugarplums and kindness and cheer.
"Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!" complained the townscritters while covering their ears.
The bears thought it was a new dance move and covered their ears, too. Which caused them to sing louder.
"IT'S SUPER HAPPY JOLLY TIME! SUPER HAPPY JOLLY TIME!" the bears chanted, doing their Super Happy Party Dance.
In a grand finale, a party cannon launched confetti into the air. The tiny pieces of paper fell gently like snow all over the doorstep of City Hall and covered the townscritters.
"Happy Holiday," the bears said, thrusting a glitter-covered flyer into the mayor's paws before skipping back toward the Party Patch. "See you at the party!"
"Just wait until you taste the fruitcake!" announced Little Puff before she was quickly shushed by the others. After all, holiday presents were meant to be secrets.
Mayor Quill looked closely at the flyer. It was an invitation.
Mayor Quill stomped his foot. He shook from head to toe. The townscritters took cover just as quills exploded everywhere. Several quills soared straight into the mountains of confetti, causing another scattering. One last quill zoomed straight for Humphrey. He threw his hands up, screamed, and dove into the pile.
When the quill storm had passed, Humphrey popped his head out of the heap he was hiding in. He looked around at the confetti-covered City Hall.
"It looks like a blizzard hit," said Humphrey.
Mayor Quill trembled with anger.
"We're about to be buried under a blizzard of musical underwear and square-wheeled trains!" screamed Sam.
Humphrey nervously cleared his throat. "Statistically, a snowy holiday is a common wish. Though it seems a tad warm for it this year."
Everyone threw icy stares at Humphrey.
The hedgehog chattered on to fill the angry silence. "The clear weather is nice for all the families traveling to be together for Hibernation Eve. In fact, when I was just a baby my great-aunt Bridget got stuck for three whole days in a nasty blizzard on her way to our house. My mother cried into her figgy pudding."
"I wish a big ssssnowsssstorm would bury the Party Patch," hissed Sherry. "Then ssssee them try to sssselebrate the holiday."
"SNOW WOES! SNOW WOES!" sang Dawn Fawn, frantically trying to sweep up the confetti mess.
"That's it!" declared Bernice. "We need snow!"
"We can't make it snow," complained Sam.
"I know someone who can," said Humphrey.
"I am not writing a letter to a cranberry!" Mayor Quill barked.
"He's not just a cranberry. He's the Grand Cranberry. And every year on Hibernation Eve, he rises from the Grumpy Bog and floats through the air with his bags of presents for everyone," said Humphrey. He handed a piece of paper to each townscritter.
"I don't understand why we have to write letters, though," said Sam.
"Well, the Grand Cranberry is very busy. Therefore, it's polite for all correspondence to be in writing," explained Humphrey, holding up his own letter to the Grand Cranberry.
"So we just write to him and demand he make it snow and he will?" asked Mayor Quill.
"You might want to try a softer approach," said Humphrey. "Try writing 'please.'"
"Maybe you sssshould read ussss yourssss for an example," suggested Sherry.
"It's personal," said Humphrey, hugging his letter close. But he wasn't holding it tight enough. Sam snatched it.
Humphrey rolled into an embarrassed ball as Sam read.
"Dear Grand Cranberry, it's me, Humphrey. I very much look forward to Hibernation Eve. Thank you so much for the necktie and clipboard you gave me last year. This year I was wondering if you would please bring me the new Flying Blind box set and a copy of A Mammal's Guide to Becoming Mayor? Sincerely Yours, Humphrey Hedgehog."
The townscritters erupted into laughter.
"Flying Blind? You actually like that noise?"
"I never took you for a punk rocker, Humphrey!"
"MAMMAL MAYOR! MAMMAL MAYOR!"
Another quill storm was brewing. Mayor Quill crumpled the blank paper in his paw and stomped his foot, alerting the others to stop laughing immediately and get busy writing letters of their own. He would deal with Humphrey's little dream of being mayor later.
"Oh, assistant," said the mayor, stressing the word to remind Humphrey of his role, "get me a new piece of paper. This one is a tad wrinkled."
Humphrey unballed himself and dutifully handed a fresh sheet of stationery to Mayor Quill.
"How's this?" asked Bernice, reading from her paper. "Dearest Grand Cranberry, please make it snow in the Grumpy Woods. A lot. A whole lot. It could actually make me happy. Sincerely, Bernice Bunny."
"That's goOOOd," said Opal.
"Yessss, it issss," said Sherry.
Mayor Quill was skeptical. All he had written so far was the letter D. Polite letter-writing was not his strong suit. However, if it stopped a party, he was willing to be as polite as needed.
So that was that. Everyone got to work writing letters with lots of words like please. When they were finished, they stuffed them in envelopes.
"You'll deliver these for us?" Bernice asked Humphrey.
Excerpted from "Super Happy Party Bears: Tiny Prancer"
Copyright © 2017 Imprint.
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