The Grumpface

BCR Fegan

“The Grumpface is an entertaining book worthy of multiple readings.” – BlueInk Review

“A skillful fairy tale…” – Kirkus Reviews


Fegan’s debut children’s book, ‘The Grumpface’, is a poetic fairy-tale that tells the story of Dan, an inventor who ventures into a forest looking for a rose. Instead he is finds the mysterious Grumpface who threatens to hold him captive unless he passes some difficult challenges. What follows is a humorous adventure that neither Dan nor the Grumpface could have anticipated.

‘The Grumpface’ is a tale in the spirit of any grand adventure. It is about a clumsy young inventor’s quest for love, and the challenges he must face to find it. But it is also a tale of bravery, absurdity and happiness, and the power of these qualities over negativity and sheer grumpiness.

Every parent will be acquainted with their own little ‘grumpface’ now and then. This story stands as a small piece of hope – that no matter how ingrained the grump, there will always remain in every one of us a smile or a laugh just waiting to come out.


Publisher – TaleBlade Press

Publication Date – May 1, 2017

Format – Hardback | Paperback | Kindle | ePub

Dimensions – 8 x 10 in (254 x 203 mm)

ISBN – HB 978-0-9953592-0-8 | PB 978-0-9953592-1-5 | Kindle 978-0-9953592-2-2 | ePub 978-0-9953592-3-9

Pages – 32 pages | 32 color illustrations

Language – English

Age Range – 4 to 10

Notables – Reader’s Favorite Gold Award Winner (2017) | Literary Titan Book Award (2017) | #1 Amazon Best Seller, European Fairy Tales (2017)


“All of Dan’s interactions with the Grumpface are delightful, and Fegan’s competent and clever rhymes scan well.”
“A skillful fairy tale…” – Kirkus Reviews

“Overall, readers young and old will appreciate this tale of a bumbling but valiant hero who puts his own spin on a classic quest. The Grumpface is an entertaining book worthy of multiple readings.” – BlueInk Review

“I’m already a little in love with The Grumpface and feel sure this super book, and its author will go far.” – March of Time Books

“Sweet and funny picture book with vivid illustrations and clever rhyming text. Emphasises the value of positivity and laughter.” – The Bookbag

The Grumpface is light and fun, and the grumpiness and daftness of its leads are sure to set children giggling.” – Foreword Clarion Reviews


The Grumpface


Rumour has it, that the mysterious creature known as the Grumpface, was once an old and cranky headmaster of a small school in Mosswood Village. Known far and wide as a cold and grumpy old man, children and teachers alike went out of their way to avoid him.

On one fateful day – or so the legend goes – he happened across a wizard who had politely asked him for directions to a nearby village.
‘If you’re lost, that’s your own fault!’ The old man replied.
‘Surely you wouldn’t mind helping a tired traveller.’ The wizard offered, a little amused at the old man’s response.
‘Perhaps if you were smarter, you would have brought a map!’ The old man snapped back, irritated that he’d been forced to speak at all.
‘Perhaps if you weren’t so grumpy, you would have noticed that you were speaking with a wizard.’ The traveller calmly replied, ‘And wizards tend to be very good at teaching unpleasant people a lesson or two.’

The old man narrowed his eyes.
‘I don’t care who you are. I don’t believe in helping people. I don’t believe in pleasantries. And I certainly don’t believe in magic!’ He frowned as hard as he could and turned to leave. The wizard suddenly stood tall and extended his hand.
‘Then perhaps,’ he began with a strangely deeper voice, ‘until you learn to see life as something to smile about rather than grump about, you will remain a grumpface!’ Without any further explanation, the wizard disappeared – as they so often tend to do – and the old man was left looking like a short, fat, grumpy-faced creature. Of course this did very little to give the Grumpface something to smile about and instead he retreated to a nearby forest where he wallowed in his grump.

Over time things only got worse. The Grumpface became so irritated with happy travellers passing through his forest, that he devised a plan to prove to them all that life was indeed most unpleasant. He would challenge every person he came across to three tests (he was a headmaster after all). Those who could not pass a single test would be trapped forever within the dark forest. A long and cruel reminder that life isn’t, and never will be fair. It wasn’t long before travellers began to avoid the forest of Ho. Soon enough, the story of the Grumpface became just another fireside story and eventually faded into myth.

For many travellers though, the myth remains just real enough for them to take the long way around to each and every village. It would be a daft traveller indeed who would willingly venture into the legendary forest…



Dan has lived in the village of Hay all his life. An optimistic young man, he loves to help others, although quite often, most people go out of their way to avoid his help. It’s not that he means to cause problems, it’s just that misfortune really likes to follow him around.

Like the time he tried to help Bodrick the baker by building him a super oven that would bake his bread in half the time. Unfortunately, it also only baked half the bread. Or perhaps the time he joined the village soldiers to hunt a particularly nasty dragon. Unfortunately, they never managed to get far – Dan had brought with him his super-duper dragon net launcher, and rather than capturing the dragon, he managed to capture the soldiers instead. Needless to say, no one was too happy.

Yet Dan doesn’t let his failures stop him. ‘Nothing to get grumpy about’ He always says. ‘Failures are only small distractions on the path to success!’ If only he could as easily dismiss his biggest distraction on that path – A beautiful flower girl by the name of Bella. She is perhaps the only thing Dan finds more intriguing than his inventions! Maybe though, he could invent something or do something that would get him noticed. It would have to be big… and failure would not be an option.



Life is not easy for the village-folk in the province of Oakvale. Keeping warm, dry and having enough to eat can be a full-time job by itself. In the village of Hay, no one knows this more than the beautiful but incredibly poor Bella. Ever since she was a child, she has faced each day hoping to earn enough to buy even the most meagre supply of food. Yet she hasn’t let her misfortunes drag her down.

Each morning the townsfolk can see her wandering the village square selling her flowers. Calling out to the busy merchants, farmers and travellers to buy one of natures colourful artworks. As seasons change, so too do her wares. Yet the flower she prizes more than any other – the flower that always fetches the highest price – is the exotic and hypnotising flower known as the rose.



Colour In – Dan and Bella

Colour In – The Grumpface

Colour In Grumpface

Draw your Best Invention

Activity My Best Invention

Click on each image, then right click to save.

Excerpt and Synopsis



In a land far away, at a time long ago,
Was the Village of Hay, near the Forest of Ho.
In the midst of the forest, in the darkest place,
Lived a grumpy old creature they called the Grumpface

And once in a while did a traveller go
On his way to the village through the Forest of Ho
And so easy it was to get lost in that place
And get caught in a trap by that grumpy Grumpface.

Yet if they could finish one task out of three
The Grumpface would have to let them go free.
For he was cursed long ago, as a grumpy old man
When he grumped at a wizard who came up with a plan

That because he was grumpy and would never replace
His frown with a smile, he’d stay a grumpface.
So there he remained in the Forest of Ho
Spreading his grump wherever he’d go.


Warning – Spoilers

Our tale begins in a small village that sits beside a dark forest. Dan, the hero of our story is an optimistic, young inventor who suffers the unfortunate trait of being clumsy. Working day and night on his inventions, he hopes that his efforts might gain the attention of Bella, a flower girl whom he secretly admires.

When it comes to his attention that Bella has no more roses to sell, he decides to brave the dark forest in order to find her one. The only problem, is that the forest is inhabited by a grumpy creature known as the Grumpface, and this creature is not known for his kindness to lost travellers.

It doesn’t take long before our poor hero is confronted by the Grumpface who quickly challenges the young inventor to three tasks. If he is able to pass even a single challenge, he will be freed, if not, he will remain forever in the forest.

Dan readily accepts the challenges and, having a bag of small inventions with him, tries desperately to put them to good use in each of the challenges. Unfortunately, the more he tries, the more spectacularly he fails. However all is not lost. Each time the clumsy inventor fails the task, the Grumpface struggles more and more to maintain his grumpy composure.

As Dan fails his final task, the Grumpface can no longer contain himself. Dan’s clumsiness and clueless behaviour is too much for the Grumpface, and he can’t help but laugh. Surprisingly, this breaks the creature’s curse, and the Grumpface is transformed into an old man. In gratitude, he provides Dan with two welcome instructions – The first, is the way out of the forest. The second, is a small detour that will lead Dan to a single, red rose.

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