Grumpycorn

Grumpycorn
Sarah McIntyre
Scholastic

We all use displacement activities to avoid things we ought to get on with, like writing, as those of us who write for whatever purpose know all too well; and these are what we find Unicorn employing as he starts his session ensconced in his special writing house intent on writing ‘the most fabulous story in the world’.

Inspiration is lacking though and he just cannot get going. Up he jumps reaching for his special fluffy pen – still nothing comes. He makes himself a cup of ‘special moonberry tea.’ Surely that will help bring ideas flooding in; but no.

His wish for an idea to knock at his door isn’t fulfilled; instead Narwhal comes a-knocking. Rather than inviting him in or indeed granting his request to be in the story, Unicorn insults Narwhal and sends him packing.

When Narwhal meets Mermaid he tells her what’s happened and she too goes to see the writer, inquiring how the writing is going. Unicorn’s response that he needs cookies to get his genius working gives Mermaid an idea and she offers a deal: cookies in return for being in his story. So long as those cookies provide inspiration is his response and off goes Mermaid to start baking.

Despite scoffing the entire plate full of delicious-looking delicacies, Unicorn deems Mermaid’s efforts uninspiring.

Next to try their luck is Jellyfish but Unicorn’s reaction to her visit is to lose his temper completely and hurl his writing accoutrements into the sea.
Is that to be the end of his creativity or can his would-be story characters save the situation for everyone?

Funny, reassuring in its demonstration that everyone – even a unicorn- suffers from writer’s block (why don’t all teachers make allowance for that in school?); and that friendship rules; and deliciously illustrated in wonderful rainbow hues, this story is a great one to share – perhaps accompanied by some pizza.

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