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Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters. Older children enjoy showing off their skills... More

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Author: Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Illustrator: Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Flashlight Press, 2013

Material: hard cover

Summary: Maya woke up grumpy. Not just grumpy but crispy, crunchy, salty, bad-mood grumpy. She and her lion try to share her bad mood with the cat, with her brothers, and with her Grandma. But how can she be down when there are elephants to bathe, tarantulas to tickle, monkeys to hang with, and hippos to hunt? This story of exaggerated events shows kids that being grumpy is normal - but not permanent!

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with children ages 3 and 5.

Young Reader Reaction: My kids picked this book from the pile, and we had additional requests to read it, too! They loved Maya was Grumpy. They thought Grandma was just as hilarious as Maya does and I suspect that they deeply identified with Maya.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great book. Maya is adorable even as she grumps around! The illustrations are bright and clever. The end is a fun surprise. I wasn't surprised my kids liked this story.

Pros: Everyone will enjoy this cute and clever story; great illustrations; and a funny twist. Kids can relate to Maya and parents can sympathize with Grandma.

Cons: No!

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is an adorable book and one we would check out from the library, but I am not sure the kids would want to read it repeatedly over many years.


Educational Themes: This is a story you could use to talk about feelings. First, walking in Maya's shoes, but also walking in Grandma's shoes - what is it like to try to help someone who is having a bad day? What is the right thing to do?

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, emotions, grandparents, humor

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews at; and reviews and reader feedback at


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