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Smudge's Grumpy Day is one of a series of books I recently purchased from a bookshop that was having a closing down sale.
Publisher - Gullane Children's Books
First published in 2001 then the Paperback version was published in 2005.
Author - Miriam Moss
Miriam Moss was born in England but grew up in Africa, The Middle East and China. She taught English for eight years in the UK and Kenya before becoming a writer. She has written over 70 children's books, some of which are informative and some are fiction. Her works include picture books, novelty books and poetry. She gets actively involved with children by visiting and speaking at schools, libraries and festivals where she does a number of workshops involving interactive story telling and creative writing.
Illustrator - Lynne Chapman
Lynne Chapman was lives in Sheffield has over 20 years experience of illustrating books. She is a freelance illustrator who started off designing cards and giftware but now specialises in children's books and has developed a whole range of different characters. She also travels around, working with children and giving workshops on storytelling, illustrating in both schools and libraries.
The story is about a mouse called Smudge who lives in a house with Stripe who is a badger. They sort of have an "adult and child" relationship. One day Smudge gets up, stubs her toe, buttons up her cardie wrongly and is generally in a fowl mood. She refuses breakfast and has a row with Stripe and slams the door as she storms out of the house. She feels miserable, wet and alone when Goose paddles up. Smudge says she has left home. Goose suggests that as it is raining that they should go and shelter in Smudge's tree house. Smudge and Goose begin to play and gradually Smudge's mood lightens and she begins to enjoy herself. Next Hare and Mole appear in a boat and Smudge and Goose play pirates with them and they have great fun walking the plank etc; However, it soon becomes dark and Smudge has to make a decision about where she is going to sleep. She decides to stay in the tree house but she is scared as the light fades, but Stripe comes to the rescue and gives Smudge some food.
I think this is a lovely realistic story told in a very caring way. It is an ideal reading book for 4 -7 year olds and centres around the fact that we all have off days where nothing seems to go right. The illustrations are complimentary to the story and provide a lot of interactive discussion. My granddaughter who is nearly 3years likes this book read to her and pretends at times that she has stubbed her toe like Smudge. She enjoys looking at the pictures as I read the text as they are informative and detailed enough to ask questions about. The facial expressions of Smudge show the different emotions well as the story unfolds. The story also shows that stubborn pride can be overcome with a little thoughtfulness.
Other title's in the series:-
A New House for Smudge
I'll Be Your Friend Smudge!
It's My Turn, Smudge!
This review can also be seen on ciao.