Grumpy is coming for a stay, and nothing gets better than that for two little siblings.
Grumpy is gramps, and there isn’t a grumpy bone in this old man’s body. Indeed, Grumpy is the master of dry drollery. Grumpy has come to visit Charlie and Mouse, biracial children with a white mom and an Asian dad. Their paternal grandfather, Grumpy, is a champ because he engages the kids on their turf. “You are getting big!” notes Grumpy, in this four-interlude early reader, conveyed in words that don’t fill the mouth too full and are caught in a nice syncopation. Charlie is “getting so big,” but Mouse shakes his head. “I am not getting big.” Grumpy tells him, “You are bigger than you were. You are not getting small.” After some prompting and thinking, Mouse declares, “I am getting medium.” Medium needs a little help but not a lot of help, like for swimming or reading. As for hot dogs, big likes mustard, medium not so much. (Grumpy concedes he’s medium when it comes to hot dogs.) So it goes for pouncing on sleepers and building a fort and eating pizza and lullabies. (Like mustard, singing isn’t a Grumpy thing; Charlie takes the chore.) The only slip is in the last chapter, which gets a tad mistily metaphorical and sugarcoated for the rest of the sparkling work.
Affection that is as comfortable as Grumpy’s old cardigan. (Early reader. 6-9)