Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang…

Jim Panzee is just grumpy one day. His friends try to get him out of his mood via various techniques but nothing works. All their efforts irritate Jim even more. He learns ultimately that he just needs to be grumpy for a while, that there is no need to snap out of it or pretend to feel differently, and that he can take a quiet break for himself to just sit with his grumpiness. THIS is a very important lesson for both children and adults alike. How often the world tries to rush us out of our negative feelings and how surely all these attempts backfire every single time! It’s important to teach our kids that yes, it’s ok to be angry, jealous, sad, etc. But it’s not ok to react to that feeling. The best way to deal with it is to sit with it on your own or with someone in your life who gets it, and take the time to process it. The illustrations in this book are very bright and engaging. My four year olds loved this book. .

In all honesty, as a working parent with three young kids, and as a first generation immigrant with no other helping hands available at my disposal except those of my husband and an occasional baby sitter, it’s hard for me to get this quiet time for myself. I have learned the hard way to get it via my creative projects, books, and by spending time outdoors in nature. And I don’t mind if my children would also like to participate in them with me. I have learned that quiet time does not always mean being alone, by myself. It’s great if I can get that, but there are other ways to process my negative feelings, by finding and doing things that give me joy and fill my cup, even if I am not able to get “alone time” per se. I have also gathered the wisdom over the years to know when I absolutely need to be by myself and have equipped myself over the years with special tools in my toolbox that I can reach out for if I don’t have help available.

This book made me appreciate where I am in my own personal journey, and filled me with inspiration to continue learning and growing, and to model healthy behaviors to my own children. Needless to say, this book spoke to me also, not just my children. Obviously, I highly recommend it!

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