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Grumpy Monkey #1

Grumpy Monkey

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A hilarious picture book about dealing with unexplained feelings…and the danger in suppressing them!

Jim the chimpanzee is in a terrible mood for no good reason. His friends can’t understand it—how can he be in a bad mood when it’s SUCH a beautiful day? They encourage him not to hunch, to smile, and to do things that make THEM happy. But Jim can’t take all the advice…and has a BIT of a meltdown. Could it be that he just needs a day to feel grumpy?

Suzanne and Max Lang bring hilarity and levity to this very important lesson. This picture book is an excellent case study in the dangers of putting on a happy face and demonstrates to kids that they are allowed to feel their feelings (though they should be careful of hurting others in the process!).

32 pages, Hardcover

First published May 15, 2018

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Suzanne Lang

34 books39 followers

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5 stars
2,340 (52%)
4 stars
1,461 (32%)
3 stars
532 (11%)
2 stars
88 (1%)
1 star
22 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 750 reviews
Profile Image for Tim.
467 reviews578 followers
August 25, 2021
Jim Panzee (best monkey name ever?) wakes up grumpy one day. His friend Norman recognizes this, and with the help of some other animals tries to cheer him up… but some days you're just grumpy and can't help it.

I actually really enjoyed this one. It's a book that tries to show children that sometimes they don't always feel cheerful and that's okay. Those feelings can pass and one does not have to always try to act cheerful. As someone who has fought with depression for most of his life, I also like that it also tries to express that just because someone is sad and grumpy doesn't mean they don't care for their friends just as much as they care for him. Overall this is a very charming children's book. Funny and expressing some fairly complicated feelings in an easy to understand way.

The illustrations are also fantastic. My daughter also loves how the different animals are presented (in particularly the snake who suggests a hug). All around a very charming little book. 4/5 stars.
Profile Image for Tina Haigler.
288 reviews95 followers
January 16, 2021
This book was so adorable! Poor grumpy monkey. I think it's a great story for kids--and some adults too--to help them understand a negative feeling without making them feel guilty about having said negative feeling. That's my favorite thing about the book--the lack of negativity. The art was cute and I loved the use of colors, especially red. I highly recommend this wonderful book for all ages.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,426 followers
September 4, 2020
My son absolutely loves monkeys. So, I absolutely had to get this book for him even if maybe he is too old for these books. Just look at the wonderful bookcover!
This book mainly talks about feelings and about the fact that sometimes it is ok to feel grumpy and sad. It is not a big deal and you can bounce back when you feel ready.
In the book Jim Panzee wakes up in a bad mood and his friend Norman tries to cheer him up with the help of almost every animal in the jungle. Jim tries to feel good to make Normal happy. Unfortunately every emotion he shows looks fake. Even the smile on his face. Maybe he just wants to enjoy being grumpy in peace and quiet.
It's a wonderful day to be grumpy"
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
June 16, 2020
Monkey lives in the beautiful jungles. One day he wakes up grumpy and he knows somethings off. Everyone is asking him what's wrong and he's tired of everyone on him. So he's grumpy, let it be. He blows up and finally he's able to realize that it's a good day to be grumpy.

It's a great story about sometimes we just have to sit with our feelings. One of my favorite things about Whinnie-the-Pooh is how they include Eeyore. They don't expect him to be happy, he can join the group and still be sad and that's okay. I just love that. I think this story too, was getting at that. Sometimes it's simply a grumpy day. We don't always have to be 100% super charged happy.

It has some great artwork and I would be down to read the next book.
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
2,861 reviews10.5k followers
November 9, 2019
I bought this for my infant son a couple weeks ago but didn't read it to him until today.

Basically, a chimp named Jim Panzee (get it?) wakes up in a bad mood and his friend Norman won't let him enjoy it in peace. Norman drags Jim all over the jungle, trying to cheer him up, until he gets into a fight with a porcupine and winds up in a bad mood himself.

I didn't see that twist at the end coming. I like that the book ended with both Jim Panzee and Norman pissed off. Norman trying to cheer Jim up reminded me of how we treat people with depression like they just need to drink more water or go outside or something.

The illustrations were great. I've subjected myself to some shitty children's books the last three months but this one was pretty cool. Four out of five pissed off chimps.
Profile Image for Sara the Librarian.
729 reviews303 followers
February 3, 2019
My husband is a professional illustrator. Consequently you have to be bloody good at what you do to get me to enjoy your children's picture book let alone impress me enough to get me to read your book multiple times and point at various pictures and laugh like a hyena and try to pet some of the animals you drew because they're so damn cute and start cooing in an especially idiotic baby voice about how "frick'n adorable that angry goddamn monkey is!"

So hats off to you Suzanne and Max Lang!!!

Suzanne Lang has written a very simple story with a very simple message that, in my opinion, very rarely gets center stage in children's picture books. Sometimes you are grumpy and there's not a damn thing you can do about it except be grumpy. Way too often I find that children's books that focus on feelings feel the need to "fix" those feelings. The bunny is sad and has to do x, y, and z to get happy again. Its incredibly important for children to learn that feeling grumpy or sad is normal and even healthy. Taking the emphasis off of correcting a perfectly normal way to feel and putting it on accepting and processing it is just so refreshing to see.

Its also handled hilariously. Every attempt that gorilla, monkey's best bud and neighbor, makes to help his friend cheer up is portrayed with a "Looney Tunes" level of madcap lunacy. He's invited to dance up close and personal with the porcupines, encouraged to "hug someone" by a boa constrictor, and my personal favorite urged to "eat old meat" by the scavenger Marabou stork just to name a few.

Ultimately he blows up at everyone and huffs off by himself where he finally realizes he just needs to be grumpy right now.

Everything about this book delighted me. Max Lang's illustrations are just epic. He has to have done Disney animator levels of observation to so perfectly capture the various animals portrayed here. The titular grumpy monkey is so hugely alive on every single page and grumpier and grumpier until his final (hilarious) explosion of epic grumpitude. Lang walks this very fine line between a very innocent cartoony style and super realism with the way his animals move. He gets so much character to come through in each picture. His colors are incredibly bright and everything has a wonderful joy and energy to it.

We've read this multiple times in my house in the last few weeks and the whole idea of letting yourself feel whatever you're feeling rather than trying to fight it has really resonated with my littlest one. Every time we finish it he throws up his arms and says "sometimes you just need to be grumpy!"

Now if the Langs would just write a book on the merits of room cleaning or not throwing solid objects directly at your brother's head...
Profile Image for donna backshall.
609 reviews170 followers
January 6, 2022
Jim Panzee, what a character. He's grumpy, but he won't acknowledge it.

Every one of us has been where Jim is. And then we've felt crappy about bringing everyone else down.

The Grumpy Monkey series gives us such a great wake up call to realize how our moods affect others, both good and bad.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,350 reviews200 followers
August 8, 2018

4.5 Stars

LOOK at that cover!!! :D

Jim Panzee woke up in a grumpy mood. His day felt all wrong even though it looked like such a wonderful day all around. Jim’s grumpiness showed itself in his tight stance, bunched eyebrows, and frown. Look at that face!!! Haha…I look like that on Monday mornings. As Jim moved through his day though, friend after friend ask about his mood and try to turn his frown upside down. So why is Jim in such a bad mood on such a beautiful day? Is there a reason? Jump in and see.

The illustrations in this book are chock full of fun! Every color, detail, and facial expression brings such life and movement and emotion to the story. Look at the eyes and faces of every animal! Monkeys, peacocks, zebras, lemurs, snakes, and more! They’re all in here with Jim. But Jim’s face…Haha…Jim’s very expressive face made me smile, “aww” and sympathize with him 100%. We all have cranky days.

And that’s it! The message! That’s my favorite part of this book! It has such a simple and true message that any and all readers can relate to it. The power of the words really caught me off guard actually.



Brilliant!!! We can’t be happy all the time. Grumpy days happen. And Jim’s story reminds readers that it’s okay to be grumpy. But it’s nice to have friends to support you through those down days too.

Highly recommended.

Please check this one out!
Profile Image for LaDonna.
174 reviews2,452 followers
February 9, 2020
Grumpy Monkey is a great conversation starter about how it is okay to not have a good day, as long as you do not hurt someone’s feelings. Author Suzanne Lang tells of how Jim Panzee is having a pretty tough day, but he does not want to admit it when asked by his various animal friends. He decides, instead, to pretend that everything is fine and “smiles” to mask his true feelings. However, he ends up feeling worse because he is not being true to himself. (Even as adults we understand the dangers of hiding our feelings and putting on a front). Only after acknowledging his true feelings, to his friend Norman, does Jim begin to slowly feel better.

We all have rough moments. Occasionally, we have rough days. It is important that we allow ourselves to have these moments and be honest with ourselves about them. However, we must also ensure that we do not use these grumpy feelings to treat others poorly. The story ends by leaving us with another powerful message: it is good to have someone we love and trust to share our feelings with.

**Special shout out to Max Lang, who provides the beautiful illustrations that help drive the narrative.
Profile Image for سیده فاطمه مطهری.
366 reviews108 followers
August 9, 2021
چقدر به عنوان یک بزرگسال این کتابو دوست داشتم :دی
همه آدمها گاهی بداخلاقن، از دنده چپ بلند میشن، اصلا دوست دارن اونروز بداخلاق باشن، بذارید باشن، هی بهشون گیر ندید، بداخلاق‌ترشون می‌کنیدها
آخ آخ، عجب کتاب خوبی بود. خیلی دوسش داشتم
Profile Image for Philip.
959 reviews259 followers
October 9, 2018
Poppy: Dad! I'm mad at you!

Dad: Poppy, are you pretending to be grumpy so that you can pretend to be not grumpy?

Poppy: Yes.

Dad: I thought so. What did you guys think about the book?

Eleanor: Uh, I liked it.

Poppy: I loved it.

Gwen: It was good.

Dad: Gwen, you know, I thought about you the most while I read this book.

Gwen: Oh. Um. Cool? Poppy, did you know that on Monday you're going to see me in a play?

Dad: Do you know why?

Gwen: Um... because I'm sometimes grumpy, I guess?

Dad: Not really.

Gwen: What?

Dad: That's not really the reason.

Gwen: What is it?

Dad: You often like to hide your feelings. When you are grumpy, you don't like to talk about why you're grumpy. You're not grumpy very much, but when you are, you don't like to talk about it. Do you agree?

Gwen: Um, a little bit, I guess. Yeah.

Dad: Poppy, you said loved the book?

Poppy: Yes.

Dad: Why?

Poppy: Because it was the best. Well, not the best, but it was so good. It was funny he said, "I'm NOT GRUMPY!" And he says it weird.

Dad: El, what about you?

Eleanor: I liked the book - especially when it said, "Maybe you should dance!" And dad, you checked last time we read it, and it was the porcupine that said it. And THEN it was Norman who danced with the porcupine, but ended up falling on it.

Dad: Yeah, that was a good catch by you. It's weird that you're the only one who can't see the pictures, and yet you're the only one out of all of us who caught that. -That Norman took the porcupine up on his offer.

El: *Laughing* That's funny.

Dad: Yeah. It was a good "text to text connection." I liked the book, because I sometimes get annoyed too when I'm grumpy and everybody is asking me why I'm grumpy. ...Can't I just be grumpy sometimes?
Profile Image for The Reading Countess.
1,727 reviews55 followers
May 28, 2018
I want to be Grumpy Monkey's friend. Heck, I AM Grumpy Monkey 9/10 of the time. Picture books are deceiving. They hide big stories within their little bindings. This is a story we all need to hear: it's okay to feel your feelings, lean into them as long as you don't hurt others in the process.

Norman the gorilla's butt bandaged hanging with Jim the (grumpy) monkey at the end is classic. Look closely at the photos for hilarious side stories (the snake hugging his meal on one page, the snake fat, hanging from a branch on the next...)
Profile Image for Cheryl .
8,898 reviews391 followers
March 4, 2020
Sometimes we're just in a mood, even if nothing's prompting it. If we don't fret about it too much, it'll pass. What really doesn't help is our friends telling us to just get over it. This book is a fable for all ages, with cute illustrations (and the animals don't wear clothes.. yay!). I'm adding the sequels (!) to my lists now.
Profile Image for The Library Lady.
3,550 reviews509 followers
January 5, 2022
I am a bit grumpy myself right now, reading (and reviewing) lots of mediocre, overrated picture books, and the words "NY Times Best Seller," struck fear into my heart, because most of what ends up there is sheer sh*t.

But Jim the Grumpy (and he is grumpy)monkey made me smile, and his friend Norman got a giggle out of me with the reason he's unhappy--a tuchus full of quills because he danced with Porcupine. And though I'd probably rate this one at 3.5 -3.5, the conclusion--I'll feel better soon, but it's a good day to be grumpy-- wrangled that fourth star from me for this one.
Profile Image for Avada Kaddavra.
272 reviews46 followers
December 1, 2022
Das war so toll🥰🥰 für meine Kids (5, 3) noch etwas schwierig zu verstehen, aber die Bilder allein haben sie schon so begeistert😁
Profile Image for Kendall.
128 reviews47 followers
February 21, 2019
Sometimes you just wake up grumpy and no matter what you do or what others around you do or say, you are just grumpy...and that is perfectly fine. Jim Panzee...first, that name makes me happy...is adorable, and the artwork in this book is rich and colorful...and happy! Kids need to know it is okay to be grumpy for no reason...sometimes you just need to be grumpy and let it work itself out. I adore this book.
Profile Image for Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance.
5,733 reviews279 followers
October 19, 2018
A monkey wakes up grumpy and everyone tries to make him feel better. It is only when he meets a grumpy gorilla that he actually starts to do so.

A fun little story of feelings and finding effective ways of dealing with them that is quite kid-friendly. Who hasn't woken up grumpy sometimes?
Profile Image for Ricki.
Author 2 books102 followers
March 5, 2018
YES! Sometimes we are just grumpy, and this is okay! I will be buying this book in bound form. It's a winner.
Profile Image for Maxwell Rae.
187 reviews92 followers
August 11, 2019
The illustrator of this book is named Max, so that's cool. My dad really liked this book, and that makes me like it too. Dad said he's been called grumpy before, and he's pretty hairy like a monkey. We like making monkey sounds together and then giggling. Mum had to explain to dad that the moral of this story is that grumpy monkeys are allowed to be grumpy and that we should just accept that negative emotions are totally okay and not try to force monkeys to be happy. Dad was pretty impressed that mum knew that. I'm glad she gets it because I HATE it when adults shove toys in my face when I'm super upset and crying hard. Hugs from mum and dad help, and then when I'm feeling better it's fun to make monkey sounds together... oo oo oo ooo ah ah ah ahh!!!
Profile Image for Hannah.
2,402 reviews1,323 followers
January 9, 2020
A bit conflicted on the message here, so am going with an “okay” rating. I loved the clever illustrations and the side humor in them. It showed a realistic human trait through the medium of the monkey. I liked the message about being honest and not lying about our feelings. At the same time, though, I was a little concerned about the final message of sitting down and indulging in grumpy, since there’s a fine line between being honest and letting oneself be a mean killjoy. Jim Panzee made his friends sad because he was sad, and he snapped at them for things that weren’t their fault. So overall the honest message is good, and the story is clever, but it missed a large point about how Jim’s selfishness also affected his friends’ day.
Profile Image for Racheal.
1,013 reviews82 followers
February 6, 2019
So expressive, with some great messages (sometimes it's ok to be grumpy for no reason, looking happy on the surface doesn't mean you're actually happy on the inside, sometimes being grumpy together with friends in an accepting way can make it all just a tiny bit better). I loved it!!
Profile Image for Laila.
1,250 reviews47 followers
August 15, 2018
Sometimes it's okay to be grumpy for a little while, and then you can get over it. Really cute! Would make a good story time book.
Profile Image for Carla.
171 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2021
Este pequeno livrinho transmite uma lição extraordinária, como devem as crianças e muitos adultos, aprender a lidar com os seus sentimentos.
Desafio os pais a lerem este livro aos seus filhos e terem em consideração o que Kirkus Reviews refere. Cada vez é mais importante as pessoas saberem lidar com os seus sentimentos menos positivos, não descarregar nos outros pessoalmente nem usar as redes sociais para o fazer. Mas não pensem que se fala disto no livro, contudo podemos em conjunto refletir sobre isso e levar os outros a alargar a temática.
Este é um livro que devia ser obrigatório. Cada vez mais temos de educar-mos a respeitar o que sentimos e deixar sentir...relaxar sozinhos e não descarregar nos outros. Os outros também têm a obrigação de nos deixar estar e não querer que estejamos sempre bem dispostos. Todos temos dias bons e dias menos bons temos é de nos respeitar a nós e aos outros.
Não posso deixar de referir o excelente trabalho ilustrativo de Max Lang.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 750 reviews

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