I have always had a soft spot for the crabbier and more irritable among us, the curmudgeon shaking his fist at me (for reasons unknown) or the toddler having a complete meltdown in the cereal aisle. I find their outbursts fascinating.
Maybe it was the Oscar influence. Second only to Kermit in my heart, he was the one who first got me thinking about subtext. Somehow I just knew that when he told us to “Scram!” he didn’t really mean it. What he needed was someone to listen.
That’s why I love Jeremy Tankard‘s cantankerous feathered friend. He keeps it real. Some days just suck. Some days you wish you hadn’t woken up. Am I right?
He reminds me of my son, who as a baby was nothing but smiles and giggles. That is, until we went outside. If anyone dared to peek into the stroller, his sweet face would suddenly morph: his teeny tiny brows would furrow, his sunny smile replaced with a suspicious scowl. “Really, he’s such a happy guy,” I would say sheepishly. No one believed me. After a while, I started having a little fun with it. “Oh! That’s odd. Did you pinch him or something?”
So, when I recently discovered Prickly Jenny, by Sibylle Delacroix, about a young girl who is out of sorts, I knew right away that I would love her too. She does NOT want you to say nice things about her drawings. She is NOT hungry, not even for ice cream, and she is NOT wearing that new dress. Nope.
Bird’s friends never give up on him and Jenny’s mum knows that tomorrow will be better. Do your duty, everyone. Get out there and hug a sourpuss today. They need you.
Bonus feature: Check out OwlKids cool video about the process of transforming Ronchonette Cocolle into Prickly Jenny!