cover image Grumpy Gloria

Grumpy Gloria

Anna Dewdney, . . Viking, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-06123-5

With a delightfully fresh take on the time-proven theme about a family member who feels displaced by a new arrival, Dewdney (Llama, Llama Red Pajama ) features a jowly bulldog named Gloria. When the youngest child receives a new doll for her birthday, Gloria is definitely "glum and grumpy./ Out of sorts./ Sad and lumpy." The two older siblings do everything they can to cajole her (while the youngest plays with her doll). They give her a chew, new toys and a brushing, take her for a walk and dress her up in play clothes, but "sullen, scowly, sulky, slumpy.../ Gloria was staying grumpy." Dewdney portrays Gloria's hilariously tragic emotions with élan. The dog's brows are furrowed, her nose is wrinkled, and her jaw is rigid, but her indignation and crabbiness never make her less lovable. Readers will figure out the cause before the pair of siblings does; and when Gloria gets bumped from a bicycle basket into the doll's baby buggy, her mood substantially improves. The humor of the book comes through not only in Gloria's facial expressions but also in the lilting descriptions of her feelings. Cleverly, the front endpapers feature the two friends playing together, while the back endpapers add the new doll joining in the same games. The lively descriptions and amusing rhymes will make this a favorite for toddlers who feel left out. Ages 2-up. (Sept.)