BOOK REVIEW: Good Morning, Grumple *
From the Publisher:
Not every child greets the new day with enthusiasm. Those who don’t are called Grumples, and they must be dealt with carefully. Sing very softly, tickle one pinky toe, kiss the scrunched-up forehead. And then a big hug and a singing rhyme to see in the day. Even Grumples cannot resist.
There are many going-to-bed books, but Good Morning, Grumple is a unique look at the celebration of morning. Manon Gauthier’s endearing collage illustrations capture the love between a mother and child, even in cranky moments. Parents will find Victoria Allenby’s droll story in verse to be a perfect accompaniment to the beginning of the day, and a gentle way to turn their own Grumples into children again.
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This book is a delightful invitation to celebrate waking-up routines. The gentle rhyming text is engaging without being too wordy, and there is opportunity for the reader to create their own short melody to sing the mother’s songs as a way to personalize the story. Manon Gauthier’s illustrations are very unique and appear to be photographs of hand-done drawings on paper cut out and pasted in a paper collage. This is a unique and memorable title that will be a toddler favourite, especially for the “Grumples”!
My 3-year old was fascinated with the illustrations in this book and with the creature being called “Grumple”. It took her two readings to connect ‘grumple’ to grumpy and she was thrilled with herself for making the connection. She helped me make up a tune to put the mother’s songs to music, which was fun for us both. The 23-month old twins have enjoyed listening to this, too, and have excitedly pointed at the engaging illustrations – they have evoked a reaction for sure! They noticed the point in the story when Grumple’s frown turned into a smile and enjoy hearing the short songs that their sister and I set to our own tune(s). My kids most often wake up happy, but on the rare days when they don’t, I’ve coaxed smiles from them each time I’ve read them this title!
- the illustrations!: they are reminiscent of the art of childhood, without being childish. Children will relate to them as to something they could aspire to create
- opportunity to put your own ‘stamp’ on the story by creating your own melody for the songs
- gently rhyming, sparse text
- really, none!
Why/How Use it with kids:
- reading it to a grumpy toddler in the morning to help cajole some reluctant giggles
- read it at bedtime to prepare for morning wake-up, especially with a toddler who struggles with morning
- explore the story:
- discuss the name “grumple” – what word is it similar to? Why might this be a good name for the creature?
- what happens at the very end of the story? Where do the grumple and his mother go? Would you (the child) like to do this?
- discuss your morning routine with your child – what stays the same day-to-day? What changes? Why?
- have children create their own drawings/paper collage in the style of this book – scaffold based on age of child
About the Author & Illustrator:
Victoria Allenby has been writing poetry and stories for as long as she can remember. Her debut picture book, Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That, won the 2014 Preschool Reads Award and was nominated for the 2015 SYRCA Shining Willow Award. She has followed up the success of this debut with the critically acclaimed early reader Timo’s Garden and, in 2016, the lively picture book Rhino Rumpus. Victoria lives in Toronto, Ontario (from Pajama Press website).
Manon Gauthier is a graphic artist who made the leap to picture book illustration in 2006. After her first book was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature, she dedicated herself entirely to illustration, and to giving presentations and art workshops in schools across Quebec. A flexible artist, Manon works in many media, including gouache, pencils, and paper collage. She lives in Montreal (from Pajama Press website).