Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus

  • Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus
  • written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway
  • published by Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

Do you have a grumpasaurus in your home? Let me rephrase…do you have a child of basically any age in your home? You do? Then you also have a grumpasaurus.

I must also come clean right here at the top that I have a soft spot for books that disguise themselves as field guides for fictional creatures. (The same is true for travel guides to fictional places. Love ’em.)

So…a field guide to a grumpy toddler who’s incognito as an adorable stegosaurus? Yeah, you had me at hello.

Sometimes called Grumpelstiltskin or the Great Grumpsby, the Grumpasaurus can live anywhere, and is most often seen sulking around the room after a great tragedy or mishap.

Side note: I’ve taken to calling my daughter Grumpelstiltskin. She hates it. Which means it’s my new favorite thing ever.

Edward Hemingway’s art is what clinches the deal here. It’s spot-on adorable and really makes the book enjoyable on multiple rereads. The story, as such, doesn’t stray very far from the field guide conceit and pokes fun at the grumpy, cranky kids parents know so well.

The story is full of dire warnings and suggestions for how to avoid the wrath of the grumpasaurus: don’t get it wet, don’t withhold cookies, stay out of its way when the nostrils flare.

Eventually, the book shows you how to tame the wild beast so you can approach without peril. I mean, ultimately, even the loudest of tantrums finally comes to an end. Right?

Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus is filled with fantastic art and is a lot of fun to read aloud. Highly recommended for the grumpasaurus in your home.

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.