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!)This time, Oliver's teeny tiny sister Dolly has joined Trolli and Olli (or Oliba! as Dolly delightedly calls her big bro). Troll and Oliver have set up a cake shop in the middle of the deep dark woods. Not just any cake shop, but a cake shop specially for Trolls. Trolls usually like eating children you see, but children taste disgusting (as we found out in Troll and the Oliver ) so cake is a far better (and far more lucrative) way of keeping trolls happy and well fed. 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!Munch Mountain is every bit as scary as it sounds, mainly because the biggest, meanest, grumpiest and hungriest troll lives there, the terribly terrifying Grumbug! He's so big he can chow down on rocks, drink entire rives, crush forests and he loves nothing better than eating ten dozen kids for brekkie - even tiny ones like Dolly!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. If you think the story sounds mind-bendingly exciting so far, we're going to let you discover just what happens when Troll and Oliver dash off in search of Dolly in this utterly brilliant sequel. I have no idea why we didn't make Troll and the Oliver book of the week originally (particularly since Templar very kindly gave us our first ever back-of-cover quote for the paperback version - which we're still tickled pink about! I suspect grumpy draws Charlotte opted for something else instead) but we both wholeheartedly voted for Grumbug to be our book of the week this week, it's dazzlingly brilliant cakey monstery toddlery fun! 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). Love the rhymes which are fun and singsong as with the original, and love the fact that once again Adam expertly throws in a twist or two that'll keep storytellers and their avid audience on their toes! -- Read it Daddy/Phil May * Read it Daddy * Extraordinary characters, wonderful illustrations with bright, bold colours fill the pages of this picture book. Children will love it and they will all wish their best friend was a troll. -- James Syner * Magpiethat * Yippee! It's a return visit from my favourite Troll and of course, Oliver. This time however, it's Oliver's small sister, Dolly who features large - well not that large - in this 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 ... All manner of dreadful descriptions issue forth from other trolls but Oliver is undaunted and armed with cake and alone save his trusty pal Troll, he sallies forth on a Dolly hunt. Into the forest they go ... Oliver at least, heedless of the clues around them- until they find themselves at the foot of Munch Mountain. Up, up they go and at the top they find ...And she's not alone; but surely that creature cannot be the BIGGEST, MEANEST, GRUMPIEST and GREENEST troll of all? Can it ...? Erm, maybe not; but nobody wants to spoil a super-dooper story so let's bid our cake-eating crew a hearty farewell and leave them to enjoy their repast... and I'll just add Oliver's parting words WE NEED BIGGER CAKE! Amen to that: and more servings please, Adam Stower. That one was a decidedly tasty offering. 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. My four to nine year old audiences have relished every serving and demanded immediate second helpings. -- Jill Bennett * Red Reading Hub * In the Troll and Oliver series author and illustrator Adam Stower has found his signature voice and style - influenced by Dr Seuss but firmly his own. In this delightful adventure, Oliver, the cake-making boy who's tamed trolls, sets out to win over the most fearsome troll of all, the Grumbug who he fears has his sister Dolly -- The Big Issue North * * Ah, an Oliver and Troll tale. Oliver is as care free and unphased by danger as ever. It's funny seeing so many trolls in one place. The entire story is unpredictable, full of laughs and surprises, especially at the end. Dolly is quite a character, like her brother, and I'm hoping she features in further adventures in what is an entertaining series! -- Jessica Pitcairn * Nayu's Reading Corner *

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

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Book Info


40 pages


Adam Stower
More books by Adam Stower

Author's Website


Templar Publishing

Publication date

1st June 2015



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