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*Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps* by Sophy Henn
Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps
by Sophy Henn
Ages 3-6 32 pages Philomel Books October 2015 Hardcover    

When Pom Pom is grumpy, he makes this noise “Harrumph!” And in Henn’s (Where Bear?) latest picture book, this panda says those words from the time he gets out of bed (on the wrong side) until he gets to school. When reading this story to children, ask them to make the noise after Pom Pom complains about his pulpy juice, his scratchy toothbrush, and the noisy birds.

When his mom drops him off at Little Acorns school, she says, “Have a lovely day, dear!” But her words of encouragement do not change Pom Pom’s demeanor. He stomps into the schoolyard with a scowl on his face. When his friends ask him to play watch the ants or kickball, he says, “NO!”--and, eventually, “Go AWAY!”

It’s not until he’s all alone that he realizes his mistake and he apologizes to the other animals. After the apology is accepted, a game of tag begins, but when Pom Pom is tagged by Lion, Pom Pom cannot resist one last expression of annoyance.

The uncluttered illustrations incorporate little details that say a lot. Lightning bolts indicate noise. A grumpy mood is depicted with a rain cloud. The family grows bamboo (the main food of the panda bear), and the old-fashioned schoolyard games and home furnishings add a cozy feel to Pom Pom’s home and school environment. This peaceful background allows Pom Pom’s grumpiness to stand-out even more. Pom Pom is still pretty cute when he’s angry though; just like many children.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2015 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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