The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon
The Unbudgeable Curmudgeon
Publisher's Hardcover15.29
Publisher's Hardcover20.82
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Annotation: A playful depiction of bad moods and sibling rivalry features an intrepid young narrator whose brother's unwavering grumpiness proves unexpectedly contagious.
Genre: [Humorous fiction]
Catalog Number: #178411
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Woodcock, Fiona,
Pages: 32
Availability: Out of Stock from Publisher
ISBN: 0-399-55662-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-399-55662-3
Dewey: E
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
A young girl wants her backpack, but the strap is caught under the leg of the chair her grumpy brother is sitting on, and he won't move. She asks nicely, she tries to bribe him, she tries to distract him, and she even tries calling their mother for help, all to no avail. When she and her teasing sibling play tug-of-war with her pack, she falls down and becomes a grumpy curmudgeon herself just as he reverts to being a boy, at least for awhile. The colorful red, blue, and yellow illustrations are set on a white backdrop and are made from stencils, rubber stamps, and pencil. Children's blow pens were used to create shadows and a diffusion of color on the children's heads e's a red-headed girl and he's a red-faced monster, until they switch roles. Single- and double-page spreads are interspersed with vignettes full of action. Playful language and a subtly rhyming text create an enjoyable read-aloud about frustrations and bad moods.
Horn Book
How do you budge an unbudgeable curmudgeon...?
Kirkus Reviews
Grouchy siblings try to shake each other in and out of bad moods.Bouncing, irregularly rhyming text that pops with soft-G sounds explores the different ways of getting someone out of a grump-spiral. "You might ask the curmudgeon / if he wouldn't mind scooching / over a smidgen." Or: "Hugs can budge curmudgeons," and if all else fails, "Some say, / ‘If you can't budge 'em, / join 'em." The curmudgeon (defined in the beginning as "A bad-tempered, difficult, cranky person") looks like a fanged and furry orange monster that slowly distills into a white child with red hair as their mood improves. Their sibling, initially presented as human, then begins their own transformation as their mood sours, growing fangs and fuzzy, clawful paws. The art in this story is rich and satisfying, created with stamps and blow pens, and it practically bursts off the page. The text is less engaging, sometimes feeling contrived and other times cloying or preachy. The thin story closes with "It can be tricky / to get the gunk off / the funkiest funks, / but once a curmudgeon / begins to budge… // …you'd be surprised how quickly… / the grouchiness can vanish!" It's an awfully chipper signoff for a book that's supposedly about inveterate grumps. The siblings, with red hair that matches the curmudgeon's fuzz, both present white.Explorations of bad moods can be potent source material, but this jumbled attempt will give curmudgeons one more thing to complain about. (Picture book. 4-6)
Publishers Weekly
In this picture book by Burgess (Enormous Smallness: A Story of E.E. Cummings), what looks at first like a shock-headed monster proves to be an angry sibling. The glowering creature has a head full of flaming red fur that matches his furry feet, and he-s trapped his sister-s knapsack under his chair. -How do you budge/ an unbudgeable curmudgeon,/ who really refuses to budge?- the text asks. She attempts bribery, considers violence: -It wouldn-t be right/ to bludgeon the curmudgeon/ but maybe he deserves one humongous nudge.- After a push-and-pull between them knocks her to the floor, the bad mood passes from brother to sister. Her red hair fluffs up in into a raging orange orb. Will she go full curmudgeon? -It can be tricky/ to get the gunk off/ the funkiest funks,- the narrator says as the brother considers his options. Playing a favorite song helps; for now, there-s peace. Burgess-s clever wordplay stays loose, reveling in the funny sounds of language without hewing to a rigid structure. Woodcock (Look) uses rubber stamps, stencils, and blow pens to add motion and energy to sweet spreads. After reading aloud, listeners might discover their own ways to unbudge curmudgeons. Ages 4-8. Author-s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator-s agent: Alli Brydon, Bright USA. (Mar.)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (3/1/19)
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Word Count: 200
Reading Level: 3.1
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.1 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 503964 / grade: Lower Grades
Lexile: AD540L
Guided Reading Level: L
Fountas & Pinnell: L


"For any kid or parent that's having a bit of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, this book is an instant pick me up. Great for siblings, too!" --Red Tricycle

"After reading aloud, listeners might discover their own ways to unbudge curmudgeons."--Publishers Weekly

"Playful language and a subtly rhyming text create an enjoyable read-aloud about frustrations and bad moods." --Booklist

What do you do with a curmudgeon that just won't budge? Why, shake off the grumpy 'tude and embrace the fun!

Have you ever seen a curmudgeon that looks like your brother, but is in such a bad mood you hardly recognize him? You can try all the peanut butter sandwiches and brownies you have, but he is not moving.

Nothing works, especially nudging, and he just makes you so grumpy that eventually you have no choice but to fight back--and then...

Have you ever become a curmudgeon that just won't budge?

Matthew Burgess's playful depiction of bad moods and sibling rivalry is matched perfectly by Fiona Woodcock's unique childlike art style.

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