Hooks and Raschka (Be Boy Buzz
; Skin Again
) charge this temperamental book with few words but ample emotion. The alliterative title alone demands a loud delivery, and each of the three key words gets a noisy spread all to itself (â€œGrump-/ Groan-/ Growl/ Bad mood on the prowlâ€). Raschka, working in loose India ink over airy, multicolored watercolor wash, scrawls a short-legged, leonine monster and its alter ego, an angry curly-haired child. The creature recalls one of Sendak's Wild Things, albeit roughly sketched with a thick brush. A zigzag blue line of teeth superimposed across the glowering monster's dark mouth in several images implies a temporary sharpness, but not permanent antagonism. Similarly, hooks's words acknowledge how hard it is to avoid negativity (â€œCan't stand outside/ Can't hideâ€). At the conclusion, the words â€œJust go inside,â€ recommend a time-out for easing out of the mood. On the closing page, â€œJust let it slide,â€ the S of â€œslideâ€ becomes a chair where the once-belligerent child lounges and his inner monster naps beneath (not gone, but relaxed). With its intensity and understanding, this bad-mood book rivals Jules Feiffer's I'm Not Bobby!
and Molly Bang's When Sophie Gets Angryâ€”Really, Really Angry...
. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)