Written by B.C.R. Fegan | Illustrated by D. Frongia
The Grumpface is a poetic fairy-tale that tells the story of Dan, an inventor who ventures into a forest looking for a rose. Instead he finds the mysterious Grumpface who threatens to hold him captive unless he passes some difficult challenges.
Cover artwork is quite good. It’s bold and fun and appealing. The “Grumpface” is wonderfully expressive, and this immediately draws the reader in. I would recommend a bit more shadow under his hat so that his (green) face stands out more from the green in the background.
The title treatment is good. I’m a little thrown off by the positioning of the author/illustrator credits. Since the two name are given equal prominence in size, the fact that they’re not lined up bothers me. Either add “Written by” above the authors name, or at least line up the two names horizontally (as is done on the title page).
The artwork is entertaining and quite well done. All of the characters are expressive and interesting – and of course, the Grumpface is highly entertaining throughout.
There are a few pages in particular where the art is especially impressive. I loved the scene in the cave, as the lighting is very well done and there’s a genuine sense of depth and scale.
The story of the Grumpface is fun, entertaining, and well-paced. It teaches a nice little lesson without being too “preachy.” As always, I’m not a huge fan of rhyming books. This one is pretty good, though some of the wording seems a bit forced. Overall though, I do recommend The Grumpface. I think families will enjoy the pacing and storytelling, as well as the fun illustrations.
About the Author
BCR Fegan is a multi-award-winning author who has written a number of fairy tales and fantasies for children and young adults.
Raised on a small hobby farm only minutes from some of Australia’s greatest beaches, Fegan grew up inspired by the power of natures ambience. From the intensity of the frequent summer storms, to the overwhelming serenity of a lonely beach in the early hours of the morning. His ravenous appetite for both reading and writing soon saw him drawing on the transformational influence of the world around him to craft short stories, poems and picture books
As time wore on, Fegan also found inspiration in the magic and depth of authors and compositors like Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault. He was mesmerised by the potency of small but beautiful phrases that were carefully carved from the minds of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Robert Frost. He grew to appreciate the worlds meticulously created by David Eddings, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis.
Eventually, he began to forge his own complete works. Weaving his own magic, piecing together his own phrases and crafting his own worlds. Agonising over plots that would inspire, characters that would be loved and circumstances that would delight. In time, his efforts saw a number of children’s books and young adult fiction produced. Through the efforts of TaleBlade Press, these works are now being published with that same careful dedication.