Reviews

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

It's a wonderful day in the jungle, so why's Jim Panzee so grumpy?When Jim woke up, nothing was right: "The sun was too bright, the sky was too blue, and bananas were too sweet." Norman the gorilla asks Jim why he's so grumpy, and Jim insists he's not. They meet Marabou, to whom Norman confides that Jim's grumpy. When Jim denies it again, Marabou points out that Jim's shoulders are hunched; Jim stands up. When they meet Lemur, Lemur points out Jim's bunchy eyebrows; Jim unbunches them. When he trips over Snake, Snake points out Jim's frown…so Jim puts on a grimacelike smile. Everyone has suggestions to brighten his mood: dancing, singing, swinging, swimming…but Jim doesn't feel like any of that. He gets so fed up, he yells at his animal friends and stomps off…then he feels sad about yelling. He and Norman (who regrets dancing with that porcupine) finally just have a sit and decide it's a wonderful day to be grumpy—which, of course, makes them both feel a little better. Suzanne Lang's encouragement to sit with your emotions (thus allowing them to pass) is nearly Buddhist in its take, and it will be great bibliotherapy for the crabby, cranky, and cross. Oscar-nominated animator Max Lang's cartoony illustrations lighten the mood without making light of Jim's mood; Jim has comically long arms, and his facial expressions are quite funny.Though Jim may have been grumpy because a chimp's an ape and not a monkey, readers will enjoy and maybe learn from his journey. (Picture book. 4-8)


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

According to this message-driven story, unpleasant feelings such as grouchiness are probably just temporary. One day, Jim Panzee the chimp doesn't feel quite right, but when the other animals suggest that he is grumpy, he vehemently denies it. The others (mostly mainland African animals, plus a brown bear and a Madagascan lemur) encourage Jim to join in their happy activities singing, swinging, rolling, swimming, and much more until he loudly affirms that he is not grumpy and storms off. He later realizes he actually is grumpy, and after discussing the situation with his friend Norman the gorilla, who declares, It's a wonderful day to be grumpy, Jim feels better. Crisp illustrations featuring a broad cast of animated, boldly colored animals against white backgrounds (except a bright red page when Jim really loses it) will draw readers into Jim's situation until the reassuring outcome. Although their helpfulness is part of the problem, the animals are enthusiastic, kindhearted souls trying to be good friends. They provide the humor needed to counterbalance Jim's foul mood.--Enos, Randall Copyright 2018 Booklist


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

PreS-K-Monkey Jim Panzee (the different-species name isn't explained) is feeling a bit off, and the other animals can tell. He says he's not grumpy, but they insist that he is, and everyone has an opinion on how to feel better, advice that will teach readers about animal characteristics along the way. "You should sing with us!," say the birds. "You should roll with us!," say the zebras. The peacocks suggest a stroll. It's not until Jim's friend Norman the gorilla empathizes and the buddies settle into the doldrums together that Jim can finally relax. They concur that "It's a wonderful day to be grumpy." Max Lang's bright watercolors of animals doing their thing are winning accompaniments to the narrative's welcome message that it's OK to be down sometimes. VERDICT A welcome companion to Judith Viorst's Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. A solid choice for picture book and SEL collections.-Henrietta Verma, Credo Reference, Jackson Heights, NY Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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