GRUFF THE GRUMP by Steve Smallman


by and illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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A friendly rabbit melts a bear’s grizzly exterior. None of the other animals visits Gruff the bear, who lives in a musty, dusty cave and stomps through the forest wearing a scowl. Gruff, almost against his own will, answers the distress call of a rabbit stuck in a tree and earns an unwanted friend. The bouncy rabbit thanks him elaborately and gives him a golden leaf (which he calls a fallen star) as a memento. Gruff grumbles, but puts the star on his mantle and decides to dust. A few days later, Gruff rescues the rabbit from a log in the middle of the river and receives another star. Can Gruff’s grump withstand this full frontal assault? Despite its brevity, Smallman’s warm tale has a clear, logical plot development that young listeners will apprehend. Biscoe’s expressive depictions, especially of the scowling Gruff, whose underslung jaw sports a couple of protruding canines, have a bit more edge that the author’s tales usually prompt. Just enough this side of saccharine to be genuinely sweet. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-56148-669-4
Page count: 26pp
Publisher: Good Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2009


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