Grumbug by Adam Stower


Written by Adam Stower
Illustrated by


Grumbug by Adam Stower

Oliver and his best friend Troll run a cafe in the woods. They make the BEST cakes - their troll customers would much rather eat cakes than children! One particularly busy day in the cafe, Oliver's sister Dolly disappears, so Oliver and Troll set off to find her. Their search takes them up Munch Mountain, where the biggest, meanest and grumpiest troll in the world lives. Oliver doesn't believe all the scary rumours, but Troll's not so sure . . .


Gleeful story, gorgeous illustrations - 'Grumbug

! -- Nick Sharratt My daughter had to turn the pages for me. I was hiding behind the duvet, too terrified to meet the meanest, greenest troll of all... GRUMBUG! -- Jonny Duddle It's great to see the characters from Troll and the Oliver return for a second story about hungry trolls and cake. At the end of The Troll and the Oliver, Oliver and Troll have gone into business together running a cafe selling cake to hungry trolls. But when Oliver's little sister disappears up Munch Mountain - where the Grumbug lives - he and Troll set off after her, taking a special supply of cake with them. Children will love following the clues in the story that lead Oliver towards his sister. Sure enough, she is at the top of Munch Mountain - but is the Grumbug really as big and as green and as mean as people think...? Once again Adam Stower excels at juxtaposing the text and the images so that the child reader knows more about what is going on than some of the characters in the story - they will delight in pointing out the clues to the existence of a rather large creature in the mountains, even if Oliver doesn't believe it exists... The rather wonderful array of trolls in the story could also be used to encourage children to create their own troll or other cake-guzzling creature! -- The Reading Zone * The Reading Zone * A clever-and impossibly cute-child thwarts a bumbling beast at every turn. Every day around lunchtime, big blue Troll tries to eat the little Oliver, who dances mirthfully over hill and dale and through forest, singing a taunting tune. You'll never catch me! / I'm much too quick-as you can see. Indeed, this seems to be true. The Oliver suddenly vanishes whenever Troll gets close. Readers will almost feel sorry for the green-eyed, snaggle-toothed monster. The pursuit goes on for many months, through winter and into the new year's thaw. One day, exhausted and demoralized, Troll decides to go back to his cave. Later, the Oliver sees no trace of Troll; it's most peculiar. As he's mixing up a cake batter, the Oliver realizes that he's won. And at that very moment, Troll leaps out of hiding via a nifty half-page turn: CHOMP! It turns out, though, that Olivers taste terrible, and Troll spits it out. Both sit in depressed silence until a ding from the oven awakens them, changing everything. It turns out they both love CAKE! Not since Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner has there been such a happy mismatch of inept hunter and blithe prey. Stower's ink-and-wash illustrations use white space and a hand-drawn feeling for maximum mirth. Bonus: a recipe from The Trolliver Cookbook. Nicely tuned to a preschool sense of the ridiculous. -- Kirkus Reviews * Kirkus Reviews * It's full on brilliant, beautifully drawn and HILARIOUS. I 100% think that it's one of my very favourite picture books. SO good! -- Alex T.Smith Adam Stower'sGrumbug is a delight. A lightly told story with a nicely balanced degree

expressive illustrations, dashed off with consummate graphic skill. -- John Vernon Lord Grumbug - released just yesterday (4th June) is Adam's fantastic follow-up to Troll and the Oliver , a book that was very well received by us (and also earned us our very first back-of-the-book quote - a very proud moment indeed!)

Dolly is visiting the boys at work but a teeny tiny toddler can swiftly get into huge colossal trouble as Dolly wanders off - in the direction of (dramatic pause, orchestral burst, drum roll) MUNCH MOUNTAIN!

There's nothing for it. Oliver embarks on a mission to rescue his sister. Will any of the troll customers of his cafe come and help? Nope. Just Oliver's bestest cake-obsessed blue troll friend.

I just loved reading it aloud (I kept the same slightly grumpy troll voice for Troll - though he doesn't actually speak in the book which calls for some creative ad-libbing to underline his fantastic expressions, a squeaky voice for Oliver, and even squeakier voice for Dolly as well as a whole host of new voices for the other trolls in the story).

At the outset we find Oliver and his best pal, Troll hard at work in their cafe: a cafe run exclusively for trolls (of the cake-only-eating variety I hasten to add.) So busy are the friends that they fail to notice young Dolly heading out through the open door. Some time later her absence is discovered and a hunt ensues. An exhaustive search of the cafe reveals no Dolly so Oliver declares an outside search is needed. BEWARE! Steer clear of Munch Mountain - you know who lives there! warns a wise old troll speaking of ...

The recipe's pretty much as before with occasional textual forays into rhyme and Stower's wonderful way of showing not telling with his witty illustrations.

About the Author

Adam Stower

Adam Stower is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s books. He was born in England and grew up in a village at the edge of Lake Zurich after his family moved to Switzerland. Adam has loved drawing for as long as he can remember. He achieved a first-class honours degree in Illustration from Norwich School of Art, followed by a master’s degree in Narrative Illustration from the University of Brighton.

Adam has illustrated sixteen picture books to date, seven of which he wrote himself. He has also illustrated many chapter books for children both here and in the US.

His books have received international acclaim, winning prizes at home and abroad, including the Red House Book Award for Bottom’s Up! (Author – Jeanne Willis) 2010 and the Wanda Gag Read-Aloud Book Award (US) for Silly Doggy! 2013.

Aside from his work for children’s fiction, Adam also does regular editorial and advertising illustration work. Adam often visits schools, libraries and festivals at home and abroad where he entertains children and adults alike with readings from his books and live-drawing demonstrations.

Adam lives in Brighton, with his wife, his daughter and a cat called Murray.

Author photo © Paul Winter

More books by this author

Other Formats

Book Info


40 pages


Adam Stower
More books by Adam Stower

Author's Website


Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st June 2015



I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

I love Lovereading as it provides an honest opinion and showcases a range of fiction. Suited to both parents & kids alike, it’s a must-use.

Georgie Rowe – age 16

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

It has introduced my children to books we hadn’t come across before. Real children’s reviews gives a great insight into what others think to

Lorraine Woods

It gives me a chance to read types of books that I would not normally try, and it motivates me to read every night to finish it!

Alice Horncastle, age 14

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

Lovereading 4 schools