A good choice for bedtime reading with pleasantly rhyming stanzas.




In author/illustrator Cranston’s debut picture book, an irritable infant grows out of his unhappy ways.

When blond-haired, blue-eyed Grumpy Baby is born, his parents can’t understand why he won’t smile. He screams during the day and at night, frowns at the playground, and doesn’t like his toys. He finds peekaboo only momentarily amusing, and bouncing him up and down and making faces does nothing to improve his disposition. Worse still, he refuses to sleep; naptime involves several stroller circuits around the block, songs, and stories. His mom and dad appear progressively more exhausted in the color illustrations, as nothing seems to help him change his attitude. “But then, one day, something magical happened,” one of Cranston’s smooth rhymes begins, and with no explanation, Grumpy Baby suddenly learns to smile. This turn of events accurately reflects real life, as when a baby suddenly gets over colic or another cause of unhappiness. However, young readers may find the sudden change of heart surprising and wonder what “magic” happened behind the scenes. A final note, reminding single-child parents to be grateful that they don’t have twins, makes it clear that this book is primarily intended to entertain parents raising a fussy baby. The bright, cartoonish illustrations feature Grumpy Baby’s comical expressions.

A good choice for bedtime reading with pleasantly rhyming stanzas.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-1-4602-9328-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: FriesenPress

Review Posted Online: Sept. 12, 2018

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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The greening of Dr. Seuss, in an ecology fable with an obvious message but a savingly silly style. In the desolate land of the Lifted Lorax, an aged creature called the Once-ler tells a young visitor how he arrived long ago in the then glorious country and began manufacturing anomalous objects called Thneeds from "the bright-colored tufts of the Truffula Trees." Despite protests from the Lorax, a native "who speaks for the trees," he continues to chop down Truffulas until he drives away the Brown Bar-ba-loots who had fed on the Tuffula fruit, the Swomee-Swans who can't sing a note for the smogulous smoke, and the Humming-Fish who had hummed in the pond now glumped up with Gluppity-Glupp. As for the Once-let, "1 went right on biggering, selling more Thneeds./ And I biggered my money, which everyone needs" — until the last Truffula falls. But one seed is left, and the Once-let hands it to his listener, with a message from the Lorax: "UNLESS someone like you/ cares a whole awful lot,/ nothing is going to get better./ It's not." The spontaneous madness of the old Dr. Seuss is absent here, but so is the boredom he often induced (in parents, anyway) with one ridiculous invention after another. And if the Once-let doesn't match the Grinch for sheer irresistible cussedness, he is stealing a lot more than Christmas and his story just might induce a generation of six-year-olds to care a whole lot.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 1971

ISBN: 0394823370

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1971

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