Monday, February 26, 2018

Feeling Grumpy? Writing About Emotions

Guest Post by Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Ever wake up in “a crispy, crunchy grumpy” mood? That’s what happens in Maya Was Grumpy, a picture book I wrote and illustrated. Sometimes you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and that is exactly what happens to Maya. She’s not sure why she’s not into coloring, wearing her favorite clothes or eating her favorite snack but all she wants to go is grump around the house and share her bad mood.

Luckily, her grandmother is there to help Maya get less grumpy by pointing out all of the wild adventures they are missing out on because of Maya’s grumps. With each wild suggestion, Maya starts to feel a bit better until she is finally ready to go play.

Emotions rule our lives, especially as children. Use the text to discuss different emotions and how they affect a story.
-Why is Maya grumpy?
-Do you ever wake up in a bad mood? Or Sad?
-Write a story based on just one emotion and how it might affect your day.

Maya is a fun read aloud with lots of alliteration and sometimes unusual words to describe Maya’s sour moods.
-Brainstorm fun words to describe moods besides the first ones you think of. 
-Instead of happy, what about jubilant? Instead of sad, what about morose?
-Play with word sounds.  Alliteration is a poetic sound device that makes reading fun.
-Write a  first draft of a paragraph about a simple story. On the second draft, write a paragraph using as many types of alliteration or assonance or just fun sounding words as you can think of.

There are clues in the artwork that sometimes aren’t stated in the story. These little details are what makes a picture book fun!
-What is something that you notice about Maya’s hair and how it reacts to her mood?
- On the playground spread do you see all of the animals Maya’s grandma mentioned?
-Do you think she was inspired by the animals in her stories? 
- What are some real-life things you can change or exaggerate to make a fun story?

 *Bonus- There is an Activity page on my site where you can color a picture of Maya and draw what you think caused her bad mood. 

BIO: Courtney Pippin-Mathur was born and raised in East Texas but now lives on the East Coast. She shares her house with a knight, a princess and two dragons. This leads to many exciting adventures with lots of breaks for reading. She has written and illustrated two picture books, Maya Was Grumpy and Dragons Rule, Princesses Drool! Visit her online at

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