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.
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.