The Grumpy Fairies

The Grumpy Fairies

By Author / Illustrator

Bethan Stevens


Fairy Tales & Folk Tales

Age range(s)



Frances Lincoln Publishers Ltd




Paperback / softback




Deep in the depths of the forest, under rustling leaves, live the fairies. You probably think that fairies are good, kind and sweet. Well, a lot of them are. These helpful fairies take care of the forest and they're happy to do it. But I'm sorry to tell you that some of the fairies, particularly the littlest ones, are GRUMPY.

I mean proper grumpy.  I mean foot-stompy, frowny, bottom-lip-sticking-outy kind of grumpy. I mean 'it's just one of those days' grumpy.  But these grumpy fairies better watch out. There's a goblin about, and grumpy fairies happen to be a goblin's favourite food...

This wonderful, funny debut will bring a smile to the smallest (and grumpiest) of children.



Fairies = delicate, happy, smiling creatures? Not in this book they're not. The fairies have toddlers / children who behave exactly the same way as human children and if you don't learn how to behave, the goblin will get you.

This picture book appeals to parents and children on so many levels. Every parent will be able to relate to the 'grumpy fairies' as they replicate your own child, making this book hilarious to read! The picture book appeals to children as it has hidden messages of how much better it is to be cheerful and helpful, but will also have your child giggling with delight at the comical faces of the grumpy fairies.

The Grumpy Fairies tells the tale of the 'littlest fairies' who are often 'proper grumpy'. The illustrations match perfectly the full blown tantrum of any small child - foot stomping, frowning, bored, angry. The poor despairing parent fairies and the creatures around them try to teach these grumpy fairies that behaving this way is no good, and to watch out because 'there's a goblin about and the lunch he loves best is...', but the fairies are too grumpy to listen.

Eventually the fairies do come across the goblin - and it turns out his favourite lunch is grumpy fairies! The grumpy fairies are quick to think and realise the goblin does not like 'sweet, sickly, helpful, fairies' and so begin to behave this way. The goblin goes off in a grump. The grumpy fairies come to realise that being helpful and happy isn't so bad after all and they happily get on with their fairy chores.

My daughter (age 5) loved this book as she found the grumpy and unhelpful behaviour of the fairies completely ridiculous. This made this book even more funny for me, especially as the illustrations match exactly the expressions of my daughter when she is 'having one of those days.'

Teaching children how to turn their mood around whilst also engaging them in a light-hearted narrative, there is so much to love about this picture book. The illustrations are big and clear with excellent focus on the expressions of all the characters (I particularly loved the annoyed face of the bird and mouse), enabling small children to engage with this book.

Bethan Stevens has perfectly captured the often grumpy behaviour of children and has created a fantastically funny story appealing to both parent and child.

Picture book / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


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