cover image Grumpy Pants

Grumpy Pants

Claire Messer. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-3075-7

When gray storm clouds and a “very bad mood” descend on Penguin, he tackles the situation head-on in this polished study in self-soothing. Arriving home, Penguin takes off his “grumpy coat” and “grumpy boots,” and he doesn’t stop there: “grumpy overalls” and “grumpy underpants” soon follow, and Penguin proceeds to take a bath, put on his favorite pajamas, and read a book, all of which go a long way to improving his state of mind. Set against crisp white backgrounds, British author-illustrator Messer’s handsome hand-printed illustrations are cheeky while still respecting Penguin’s emotions (his angry poses and frowny eyebrows speak volumes about his mood). Penguin’s ability to bring himself to a more content and optimistic place without any outside or parental help offers concrete, empowering ideas for readers who might be wearing their own grumpy outfits. Ages 4–8. (May)