Reviews for Grumpy Bird


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Fall
Bird, too grumpy to fly, plods along with a scowl that somehow doesn't deter the other animals. An impromptu game of follow-the-leader snaps Bird out of his funk. The landscape is a kaleidoscopic mixed-media collage, superimposing on photos vibrantly colored doodle-like ink drawings of pastoral scenes. The animals are large and sturdy, appealingly rendered in simple shapes and heavy outline. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #3
For Bird, it's one of those mornings when even the friendliest greeting grates on his nerves like a beak on a blackboard. Too grumpy even to fly, he plods along in this brief, engaging tale with a scowl that somehow doesn't deter the other animals from, one by one, saying hello and asking what he's doing. "'I'm walking,' snapped Bird, 'what does it look like?'" The landscape surrounding our irritable but likable hero and his parade of pals is a kaleidoscopic mixed-media collage, superimposing vibrantly colored, doodle-like ink drawings of pastoral scenes atop actual photos of the same. The animals are large and sturdy, appealingly rendered in simple shapes and heavy outline so they resemble toy figures. (Preschoolers will be tickled to notice that all five critters Bird meets -- Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox -- have visible bellybuttons.) Unlike Bird, his friends enjoy walking, and they also find it agreeable to stop when he stops, stand on one foot when he does, etc. This impromptu game of follow-the-leader snaps Bird out of his funk, and, newly energized, he invites everyone to fly with him back to his nest. They all become airborne, apparently fueled by the power of positive thinking. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 March #2
Bird is grumpy. So grumpy, in fact, that he gives up flying in favor of a summer stroll. During his promenade, Bird acquires a follow-the-leader, copycat bestiary whose action-packed antics ("Bird stopped. The other animals stopped") ultimately lift his spirits. The double-paged spreads saturated in rich colors host an array of expressive animal characters outlined with thick black brushstrokes. These child-like figures are given depth through a combination of digitally rendered background images and flower, tree and geometric motifs that mirror the patterning of the simple prose. The ending is whimsical and funny as Fox, Beaver and company flies back to a revitalized Bird's nest for--shudder--a worm meal. Since imitation is a trademark of toddlerhood, keep this energetic picture book in mind for wee storytime members. (Picture book. 1-4) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 March #4

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. (Apr.)

[Page 92]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 February
PreS-K-Bird wakes up one morning feeling out of sorts-too grumpy to eat, too grumpy to play, and even too grumpy to fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," he grumbles. On his way, he passes a succession of happy-go-lucky animals, including a sheep, a rabbit, and a beaver, all of whom ask him what he is doing. "Walking," he responds, more and more testily, and each creature decides to join him. Eventually, the walk turns into an impromptu game of follow-the-leader, and Bird finds himself having so much fun that he forgets to be grumpy. Finally, he invites them all to fly back to his nest with him, and, oddly enough, they do. This straightforward story is enlivened by unusual mixed-media illustrations. Each scene consists of sketches of farmland or trees, layered over photographs of real farms and trees. Cheerful flowers and stars are scribbled throughout. The animal characters are simplistic cartoons with thick black outlines and comical facial expressions. The slightly psychedelic quality of the art works to foreshadow the whimsical ending, which otherwise comes as a surprise after the wry, sarcastic tone of the rest of the story. Grumpy Bird would make a good addition to storytimes with themes of emotions or imagination.-Rachael Vilmar, Atlanta Fulton Public Library, GA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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