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Children's Fiction Emotions & Feelings

Grumpy Bird

illustrated by Jeremy Tankard

Scholastic Canada Ltd
Initial publish date
Oct 2008
Emotions & Feelings, Friendship
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2007
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Jun 2024
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 0
  • Grade: p to k


Your favourite story about waking up on the wrong side of the...nest.

Bird wakes up grumpy. Too grumpy to eat, play—or even fly. "Looks like I'm walking today," says Bird grumpily. All of this grumpy walking piques the interest of his friends and soon Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox are walking alongside him. Somewhere along the way Bird realizes that his friends are still there, but his mood is gone, proving that sometimes grumpy needs company!

This bright book can be read again and again to help kids (and grown-ups) giggle away their darkest moods.

About the author

Jeremy Tankard is the creator of the Los Angeles Times Favorite Book Grumpy Bird and its companions Boo Hoo Bird, Hungry Bird, and Sleepy Bird, and the illustrator of several acclaimed picture books, including Rachel Vail's Piggy Bunny and David LaRochelle's It's a Tiger! The beloved Bird books are bestsellers in Tankard's native Canada. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two children. You can visit him online at

Jeremy Tankard's profile page


  • Commended, Today's Parent 100 best Canadian kids' books of all time
  • Commended, White Ravens Selection (International Youth Library)
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
  • Commended, OLA Blue Spruce Award
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets, Honourable Mention
  • Short-listed, Early Years Niagara Literary Award
  • Commended, Los Angeles Times Favourite Books
  • Commended, Toronto Public Library First & Best booklist

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Grumpy Bird:

  • Nominee, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award, 2008
  • Nominee, CBA Libris Award, Children's Illustrator of the Year, 2008
  • Shortlist, The Amelia Francess Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, 2008
  • Nominee, Shining Willow Award, 2007
  • OLA Best Bets, 2007
  • CBC Sounds Like Canada Children's Book Panel Selection
  • Nominee, Blue Spruce Award, 2007
  • Toronto Public Library "First & Best" booklist
  • Los Angeles Times Favorite Books of 2007
  • Nominee, Early Years NIagara Literary Award

"Jeremy Tankard's deceptively simple tale is a useful tonic for mood kids — and their parents — but the best thing about it is the comic perfection of Bird's face as he marches along in a fury." — The Wall Street Journal

Librarian Reviews

Grumpy Bird

Somebody definitely woke up on the wrong side of the nest. In Jeremy Tankard’s Grumpy Bird, our main character gets up one morning in the grumpiest of moods. Bird refuses to engage in any of his bird-like routines: eating, playing, and even flying! Bird decides to walk off his bad mood. Along the way he meets Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver, and Fox, who, adorably oblivious to Bird’s “fowl” mood, join him on his walk. Eventually their solemn march turns into a silly game that makes Bird forget all about his grumpy state.

The vibrant illustrations in this picture book contribute greatly to the humour of the text. They demand more than a quick glance, as the unique style of ink and digital media combine to create a 3-D setting, ideal for the country landscape. Tankard creates amusing facial expressions for each character: the sheep with wide eyes, the rabbit with big teeth, the beaver with jazz hands – every animal has its own distinct persona in this amusing tale.

Grumpy Bird has elements to be appreciated by young and old. The timeless lesson of letting your friends support you when you’re low is endearingly portrayed in this wonderful picture book. Tankard teaches us that acting silly (or watching others do so) is an excellent cure for the grumpies, every time!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2007. Vol.30 No.3.

Grumpy Bird

Bird wakes up feeling too grumpy to eat, play or even fly. Sheep, Rabbit, Raccoon, Beaver and Fox offer to keep him company on his walk. Before Bird knows it, a little exercise and company help him shake his bad mood. Originally published as a picture book in 2007 by Scholastic Press (Best Books for Kids & Teens 2008).

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

Grumpy Bird

Bird wakes up feeling too grumpy to eat, play or even fly. Before he knows it, companionship and a bit of exercise help him shake his bad mood. This tale features bold ink and digital media artwork.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.

Other titles by Jeremy Tankard