My grumpy day by Felicity Gardner

cover image

Hachette Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780734415448.
Picture book. My grumpy day is the second book by Felicity Gardner to feature Max, the very cute gorilla. Written to be shared by preschoolers and their carers, it invites a discussion of the emotions we all experience, especially dealing with 'the grumps'.
Max lives in the jungle with his family and a wide circle of animal friends and is usually quite cheerful, however this day he wakes up grumpy. Everything it seems is wrong. His cereal, which looks remarkably like Froot Loops, is 'yucky', he doesn't want to share, play games with his tutu wearing friends or play in the pool. He just wants to be left alone, much to the surprise of a pack of curious meerkats. Max finds that's no fun either especially when he sees his friends sharing a picnic lunch.
Mum of course has the solution when he apologises for his behaviour and confesses to having 'the grumps'. There is no cure better than a kiss, a cuddle and a good laugh.
The colourful full page illustrations enable the reader to see Max's range of facial expressions as he grumps through the day, including a tearful Max watching the picnic, contrasting with the other animals enjoying themselves as they share and interact with each other.
The simple language of the story is easy to read with his complaints highlighted in eye-catching colours and textures, as is the solution. Finally we see Max rolling around laughing and bringing balloons to share at the picnic in an ending banishing 'the grumps' at least for now.
Sue Keane