***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Mr. Grumpf is a lovable curmudgeon. When we first meet him, Mr. Grumpf is busy trying to sweep away the last of the leaves from his doorstep in preparation for the fast-approaching winter. He is a badger that doesn’t want to be bothered. His neighbors, however, must have missed the memo because he is constantly being interrupted.
Despite his ill-tempered disposition, Mr. Grumpf always helps his neighbors when they ask and sometimes even when they don’t. Whether it’s helping a mouse retrieve his kite that’s stuck in a tree (and then repairing it when it turns out to be broken) or delivering nuts to a beleaguered father squirrel who has fallen behind in gathering nuts for winter, Mr. Grumpf is always of service to his neighbors…though never with a smile.
When Mr. Grumpf finally makes it home, he finds all the neighbors he’s helped helping him with his pre-winter chores. The smallest of smiles breaks through his grumpy veneer when the same mouse whose kite he saved presents him with his once-broken broom—repaired and ready to go.
I loved the illustrations in this book. The author uses a minimal of dialogue and narration to tell the story. It is image-driven, so children must interpret what’s happening most often by following the sequence of images on the page and reading the characters’ facial expressions.
All in all, I loved Beneath the Trees and I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.
Beneath the Trees: The Autumn of Mr. Grumpf is due to be released on October 12th, 2021 by Magnetic Press and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.
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