Published: April 23, 2017
Published by PajamaPress
Hardcover picture book: 24 pages
For children ages 1-3
Content rating: G
Not every child greets the new day with enthusiasm. Those who don’t are called Grumples, and they must be dealt with carefully. Sing very softly, tickle one pinky toe, kiss the scrunched-up forehead. And then a big hug and a singing rhyme to see in the day. Even Grumples cannot resist.
There are many going-to-bed books, but Good Morning, Grumple is a unique look at the celebration of morning. Manon Gauthier’s endearing collage illustrations capture the love between a mother and child, even in cranky moments. Parents will find Victoria Allenby’s droll story in verse to be a perfect accompaniment to the beginning of the day, and a gentle way to turn their own Grumples into children again.
My son and I thought this book was absolutely adorable. And of course, we could both relate! He the grumpy morning kid who needed singing, caresses and hair ruffling before he staggered out of bed, and me trying to come up with gentle ways to wake him up for school.
The book uses rhyming verse as it tells of a mother who awakens her grumpy little one to a new day of sunshine and discovery. It is humorous, delightfully told and fun to read. It celebrates the love between a mother and her child. It makes difficult mornings easier to face. It made my son and I smile as we read it.
The illustrations which were created with paper collage and mixed media seemed almost 3D on some pages. They really popped out of the book. They looked like they've been drawn by a child, however. They were in earth toned colors, mainly browns, black, taupe, tan, beige. My son wasn't crazy about them. He loves art, drawing and coloring, even as a teen, but these child-like drawings by an adult (he would have been okay had they been drawn by a 5 year-old) did not appeal to him.
Montreal native Manon Gauthier is a self- taught illustrator and visual artist who studied graphic design and worked in that field for more than fifteen years. She has won several important prizes and nominations for her work, among them, four nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Awards (illustration), Canada’s most prestigious annual literary prize and more recently her illustrations for the book « Mon parc » published at Les éditions de l’Isatis have been selected for the prestigious Illustrator’s exibition at the Bologna children’s Book fair 2014.
The Grumpy Crocodile
Written by Nigel Tetley
Illustrated by Simon Goodway
Published: April 1, 2017
Published by The Choir Press
Softcover picture book: 28 pages
For children ages 4-8
Content rating: G
What are the jungle creatures to do about a bad-tempered crocodile who is making their lives a misery because of his constant oversleeping? Find out in this amusing rhyming story for young readers.
The book uses rhyming verse and is full of emotions describing the actions of a ferocious crocodile that is sure to catch the attention of young readers. The croc can be likened to a bully. The other animals are afraid of him but also want to play with him and figure out how to appease him. They use discernment to discover what is making the croc so grouchy and scary, and then work together to help the croc.
Teamwork, friendship and problem-solving are good themes to explore when reading this fun story aloud to children. Oversleeping rather than getting a good and fresh start to the day, is also a good lesson learned. The watercolour illustrations by Simon Goodway are simple and cute and depict the story well. Overall, a fun book with good themes!