Ed Vere is a British author and illustrator and is the creator of one of my all-time favourite picturebooks, Mr Big. I’m a sucker for hat-wearing gorillas who love jazz.
Vere’s latest book, Grumpy Frog, tells the story of a bright green frog who is definitely NOT grumpy. Grumpy Frog loves two things best: being green and winning. He vehemently dislikes all other colours and throws hissy fits when he comes less than first in anything. Eventually, all his other froggy friends desert him and he’s left all by himself. Until, that is, a pink rabbit tries to befriend him. Grumpy Frog learns that to get by in life, a frog has to learn to compromise and just not be so grumpy all the time.
This book is beautifully rendered, with bold brush strokes and strong colours, and with an equally bold and strong message – a message that seems to resonate powerfully (for this reviewer anyway) in the fractious and polarized world we live in today – that total intransigence is never a good thing and that a happy medium is called a happy medium for a very good reason.