Saturday, October 12, 2013

15th October National Grouch Day

I don't know the origin of this day and national means America, but some say it is in honour of Sesame Street's famous grouch Oscar. Whatever its origin this day is a day for grouches and they have an excuse to be grouchy all day long. A grouch's mission in life is to be miserable and as grouchy as possible and then to pass that feeling on to everyone else.

Perhaps the signature grouch in children's literature is the grouchy ladybug in Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug. I get very cross when Americans change the title of Australian and English titles that they import and this is an example where we have done the same to an American title and renamed it The Bad-Tempered Ladybird. Why did we do this? Is 'grouchy' the same as 'bad-tempered'? I think not. Luckily there are both versions in my library. The American version is a larger picture book and better for sharing with classes. Looking up grouchy in three thesauruses, they listed 'ill-tempered' and 'short-tempered' but not 'bad tempered'. As well there were words such as, grumpy, grumbling, grizzly, crabby and cranky. Aren't they lovely sounding words, all the 'gr' and 'cr' sounds that we associate with crying and whining.

There are so many picture books to display for this day that I have been collecting them together over the last week in anticipation. There is:
 The Grunt and the Grouch by Tracey Corderoy and Lee Wildish   (There are four short chapter books about these two characters as well)
Clifford and the Grouchy Neighbours by Norman Bridwell
Maya was Grumpy by Courtney Pippin- Mathur
Grumpy Bird  by Jeremy Tankard
What Are You So Grumpy About?  by Tom Lichtenheld
 Greedy Grumpy Hippo by Stuart Trotter
Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
Grumpy Little King by Michel Streich
The Three Grumpies by Tamra Wight and Ross Collins
Grumpy Badger's Christmas by Paul Bright and Jane Chapman
 Grumpy Goat by Brett Helquist
Grumpy Gloria by Anna Dewdney
Grizzly Dad by Joanna Harrison
Gruff the Grump  by Steve Smallman and Cee Biscoe
The Grump  by Sarah Garson
Crabby Pants by Julie Gassman
Olive's Bad Mood  by Tor Freeman
The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland
The Bad Mood! by Moritz Petz and Amelie Jackowski
Big Rabbit's Bad Mood by Ramona Badescu
Danny in the Toybox by Richard Tulloch and Armin Greder


  1. This is a new one for me. I am feeling quite empowered that it is okay to feel grouchy. I always read Danny in the toybox to Kindergarten. I love the ending when he can't remember why he was so very very mad! I need to look for some of the other titles you mention.

  2. I put the books out on display this morning and six had been borrowed by parents before the bell for class even went. Luckily I found a few more during the day like 'I'm Green and I'm Grumpy' by Alison Lester, "It's Lovely When You Smile' by Sam McBratney and Susan Varley's 'Badger's Bad Mood'.