Don’t you just hate it when a perfectly good day is marred by a case of the grumps? On many occasions, I’ve experienced the havoc that a contagious case of a sour mood can wreak. In Oh, Bother! Someone’s Grumpy!, this affliction has hit the Hundred-Acre Wood, and a gorgeous winter morning suddenly starts to look pretty grim indeed. There are several books in this series that teaches kids how to respond appropriately to various upsetting situations, but this one may be my favorite, as it’s so community-oriented. While one character is the catalyst, his grumpiness sets off a chain reaction that leaves most of the Hundred-Acre Wood in a huff.
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Like other books in this series, Someone’s Grumpy! is written by Betty Birney, but it’s illustrated by Sue DiCicco, a different illustrator than the one responsible for the two other Oh, Bother! books I have. I honestly can’t tell the difference, though. The characters look pretty much the same in this book as in the others, and the backgrounds are just as detailed. I’m sure a great effort was made to keep the look consistent throughout the series.
Since the book is so focused on changing emotions, it’s interesting to observe the faces of the various characters and see how their expressions alter from page to page. DiCicco does a great job with this, making it easy to watch the progression from happy to annoyed to downright irritable. Pooh and his friends are good at sharing things, but a bad mood is something that is best not spread around. Reading this book could spark an awareness of how one’s own emotions affect others, prompting young readers to make more of an effort to roll with the punches.
This book includes seven characters, with Rabbit, Kanga and Gopher missing. It would have been easy to incorporate them too, since Rabbit and Gopher are rather easily aggravated and I could see Kanga getting exasperated with a cantankerous Roo, but maybe that would have dragged the Galloping Grumps out a little too long.
That alliterative phrase is how Christopher Robin describes what has happened to his friends; he’s the only one in the book unaffected by it. He points out that cheerfulness can cure a rampant case of the Grumps, since it happens to be just as contagious; from that point, the residents are able to come up with some methods of their own for spreading good cheer. The final convert is Eeyore, who, unsurprisingly enough, was the one who started the chain of misery.
Oh, Bother! Someone’s Grumpy! presents an important lesson, but it also entertains. It gets my vote as the funniest of the books in this series, at least of the ones I’ve read, very effectively showing how one bad mood can snowball and infect everyone else’s outlook.
This review is part of Carstairs38's All Things Disney Write-Off, Sleeper54's Lean and Mean IX Write-Off and my Tales to Warm Your Mind Write-Off.