The Three Grumpies


illustrations by Ross Collins © 2003


What’s a girl to do when she wakes up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning?

What if Grumpy, Grumpier and Grumpiest are waiting for her?

They spill her milk.

They hide her shoes.

They trip her as she gets on the bus.

She can try to make mean faces

and to yell “Go Away!”

but that only makes them laugh.

There’s only one cure for the Grumpies . . . .

laugh right back!


illustrations by Ross Collins © 2003


 The Three Grumpies was the first humorous picture book I’d written.  It all started when those Grumpies paid a visit to my house . . . 

My son Ben, who was then 3, had been having a really rotten day.  (Like Alexander in the book, Alexander and The Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad, Day by Judith Viorst.)  Ben had bounced from the chair to the couch and back.   He’d run around in circles and chased the cat.  He refused to eat supper.   He yelled at me and I yelled right back.

But when bedtime came, I didn’t want him to fall asleep in a rotten mood.  So I tucked him in, tickled him under the chin and said, “You poor thing!  You had those grumpies all day didn’t you?”

“Yes,” Ben said sadly.  “Do you think they’ll come back again tomorrow?”

Poor Ben . . . I couldn’t wait to get to my computer so I could begin writing about The Three Grumpies.  Four months later, I decided the story was perfect and began sending it out to publishers.  The fifth one I sent it to, Bloomsbury USA from New York, accepted it.   Click here to see more of Bloomsbury’s Childrens books. Be sure to look at both their USA and UK catalogs.

Ross Collins, who lives in Scotland, was asked to create the illustrations.  I just adore each and every character, especially the little girl.  One of my favorite illustrations is where she has toothpaste hanging off her nose!

The Three Grumpies was released October 2003.