Time for another favourite book of mine! Our recent trip to the library left me full of good reads and this book, Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer was my favourite one!
When picking books at the library I take a couple random thoughts into consideration:
- illustrations and story (of course)
- books with a teaching point at the time (i.e. change in season, potty training or holidays)
- books I have been told to read by my mindful parent community
Synopsis: Grumpy Pants is a great book for the 18 mos - 3 years range. With simple and concise language the book walks the reader through the life of a grumpy penguin. He isn't sure why he is grumpy (very relatable) but he is. He tries to stomp it out, shake it off and finally by stripping away his clothes, taking a deep breath and jumping in the bathtub he begins to feel better. He tops off his change in mood by putting on his favourite pj's and reading a good book. It't not easy to maintain a toddler's attention span long enough for a book with a good message, but this book nails it! With a quick story full of meaning and purpose this book makes a valuable lesson quick and easy to digest.
I loved this book for many reasons:
- the focus wasn't on the reason why the penguin is grumpy. The focus was put on how the penguin can take control of his mood, and change it, all by himself. It showed his safe attempts to rid himself of the bad mood which are all safe and relatable things for kids to try. - I love the metaphor of stripping off the grumpy mood with each piece of clothing. It made it very clear that a feeling and bad mood wasn't a part of the penguin, it was all just a temporary feeling. He wasn't a grumpy penguin doomed to be grumpy forever. - I appreciate that an entire three pages of the book are dedicated to the penguin stopping to take a deep breath and count to three. Showing children this invaluable tool in the face of grumpiness is all we can ask for from a book on bad moods. The penguin takes a deep breath, and we always take a nice long pause at this part of the story to practice our deep breaths too. Then the penguin goes on to count to three. Taking more time for himself before jumping into the tub!
- I also love that the tub (a part of every toddler's life) is what really starts to change his mood around. With water being a very grounding element for humans, it is an excellent way to calm big feelings and emotions. By submerging ourselves in water, most people will instantly feel a sense of calm and relaxation. Which the penguin does! A great idea for parents and children to shake those nasty feelings.
If you have a toddler feeling big emotions and nasty bouts of grumpiness, you should add this book to your home library a.s.a.p.!