I recently posted an initial rough draft story outline of “Zach and Backer, the Toad Who Rode a Bull”. This evening I requested from the brilliant illustrator Josh McGill an initial concept illustration of the main characters in a key scene from the story. This helps us to brainstorm ideas and get the text and illustrations in sync going forward.
Below I’ve included the initial rough draft story outline of “Grumbly Grumpadinkle” and have a attached the initial concept illustration from that story.
Before I present the initial rough draft outline of “Grumbly Grumpadinkle”, I have a request for you:
If you choose to read it, and have read the one for “Zach and Backer, the Toad Who Rode a Bull”, would you please be so kind as to suggest which one you’d prefer to see developed into a children’s book first? I like various aspects of both stories and haven’t yet decided which to complete first. I wanted to honor you, the readers of this blog, with this request. Thank you!
Wendy Goodlight was a little girl who lived on Sunny Day Lane. It was a friendly place where people smiled and helped each other.
One day, a man moved in across the street. He yelled at Wendy and her friend, “My name is Grumbly Grumpledinkle. You kids better stay on your side of the street! If I find any of your toys on my side of the street I’m going to throw them away!
“What a mean thing to say,” whispered Wendy’s friend.
Grumbly Grumpledinkle frowned all over town. He was not nice to anyone. He sang a song to everyone.
“Grumbly Grumpledinkle is my name
Don’t try to visit and don’t try to call
I need no one and no one needs me
And that’s the way I want it to be
Go away and leave me alone
Don’t try to visit and don’t you dare call
Smiles began to turn to frowns.
And it started happening all over town.
As others began to get grumpy too
Wendy Goodlight thought to herself, “This won’t do.
I better come up with a plan to help this man,
before he makes everyone sad and mad.
I better do it quick before everyone gets sick.
Already in Grumbly’s heart
Everyone, that is, except Wendy Goodlight.
She said to herself, “That can’t be right.
I’ll bet he just needs a great big hug
Warmth from kindness and a whole lot of Love.
In Grumbly’s heart things were getting worse.
Being mean and nasty is really quite a curse.
His heart got darker, heavier, and sadder
When he opened the door at last
Wendy handed a furry bundle to him real fast
He saw he held a kindness cuddly and warm
Wrapped tightly in his folded arms
He looked at it and looked real mean
Then he looked at Wendy and began to scream,
“I don’t need this kindness, and I don’t want Love!”
But then that kindness gave him a great big hug.
He looked down at it with great surprise
And was about to glare at Wendy with cruel, cruel eyes
But when he looked at where she’d been she was already gone.
He looked at the cuddly ball of fur wrapped in his arms
He said to Love, “What am I going to do with you? I’ve never had a kindness before.”
I’m much too busy for you. What I’m I going to do?
I’ve got an idea. You go live in a zoo!
He put Love on the floor and began to push him toward the door.
But kindness jumped back into his arms and held on tight.
Grumbly said, “Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to keep you for ONE night.”
The he looked out the window in his door
And saw something that he’d never seen before.
Someone was trying to mow his yard
It was Wendy Goodlight and she was working hard.
The handle to the mower was so very tall
That even on her tippy toes she could barely reach it at all.
She had to lean with all her might to make it move an inch
The sight of that poor girl made old Grumbly flinch.
Then a neighbor saw her and asked, “Why are you helping him?
Old Grumpledinkle is mean, he’s nasty, and grim.”
But Wendy just shrugged and smiled, for she was never one to boast,
Quietly said, “I think people like him need our caring the most.”
The neighbor thought for a moment, then a smile lit his face.
You’re a wise girl Wendy. May I take your place?
So he took the mower and kept cutting the lawn.
Other neighbors noticed, and asked if they could help
And soon a lot of people were helping in the yard
With so much help the job wasn’t very hard
Some trimmed his bushes, some waxed his car
Washed his windows, pulled some weeds
And did all the work a big yard needs.
Grumbly Grumpledinkle saw all this and more
As he watched through the window in the door.
And as he held that kindness that was named Love
He gave it a great big hug real tight
His heart no longer felt dark and heavy
It now felt bright and light
And everything that had seemed so wrong
Now felt so very right. But everyone froze with fright
When he opened up the door and yelled
“I want you all to stop right now!”
But he said it with a great big smile instead of a scowl.
He said, “It’s hot out here and I think
It’s time you all had a nice cold drink.
So come on in, won’t you please?
I have lots of ice and burzleberry tea.”
But then he smiled and thanked them all