cover image The Grumpalump

The Grumpalump

Sarah Hayes. Clarion Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-871-2

Just what is this grumpalump? A handful of curious animals would like to know. One by one, they come across this multi-colored pile of mysterious material and react in different, rhyming ways--the bear stared, the cat sat, the mole rolled, the yak whacked and the armadillo used it for a pillow. Each time an animal meets it, ``the lump grumped,'' but makes no move until ``the gnu blew.'' When this resourceful animal picks up a corner of the grumpalump and continues to blow air into it, its identity is revealed. Youngsters will be as amused by the resolution as are the animals, and will want to read Hayes's ( Eat Up, Gemma ; Stamp Your Feet ) subtly rhymed text again and again. (Or hear it, perhaps: the rhythms make this an excellent read-aloud choice.) The facial expressions Firth ( We Love Them ; The Park in the Dark ) gives to each animal are highly entertaining; the staring bear is especially endearing. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)