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Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite
Grumpy the Iguana by Susan Chapman is a 37-page, colorful children’s story about an iguana who lives life by routine. His days are well-thought-out, and he knows what he is about. He doesn’t have to pre-plan his day with new activities because he is simply content to stay on course and follow his daily life. But one day something happens and his world is turned entirely upside down. His tree is cut down, causing all sorts of problems in his inner world. That disruption totally changes his routine and, as a result, he is not happy at all. And, yes, he turns grumpy.
The story is charming and funny and yet it delivers a gentle and clear message, especially for kids. Some children have trouble managing their way apart from routine, for whatever reason. Each day is to be a certain way and anything derailing that makes their life miserable. This is their reality, and any changes to their routine bring stress and misery. But the new friends who come into Grumpy’s life kindly show him alternatives, so he can see that he can continue just as well, or perhaps even better, if he is willing to make adjustments. And he does. The watercolor pictures shine in the book, bringing a real sense of story and message. Grumpy the Iguana by Susan Chapman is an ideal story for kids who find that challenges push them beyond their limits. It reminds us that life can be difficult, but there are ways in which we can change—maybe just a little—so that life can continue. Highly recommended.