Sunday, March 31, 2019

Review - Grumpy Bird

Grumpy Bird
by Jeremy Tankard
Date: 2007
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Bird wakes up feeling grumpy. Too grumpy to eat or play -- too grumpy even to fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," says Bird. He walks past Sheep, who offers to keep him company. He walks past Rabbit, who also could use a walk. Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox join in, too. Before he knows it, a little exercise and companionship help Bird shake his bad mood.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I probably should've read this book first. But I read Hungry Bird, which solidified in my mind a raging case of avian narcissistic personality disorder. That influenced my reading of Grumpy Bird... and not for the better.

Bird wakes up grumpy. Too grumpy to fly. So he goes for a walk (or he just goes walking about; I don't even know where he's going). Each of his friends asks him what he's doing, and then they join him. Soon he's got them all following him, which is fine. But then he realizes they're following him, and that he can manipulate them by doing stuff and having them copy it. After reading about his behaviour in Hungry Bird, this just made me uncomfortable.

He does take all of his friends back to his nest at the end for a snack, but by then I wasn't enjoying the story anymore. Taken together, these books model some really questionable behaviour. Manipulation, selfishness, and rudeness in a character like this might simply be funny to an adult... but I sure wouldn't want my kids reading about this feathered jerk and imitating his behaviour.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 2/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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