Cranky (Hardcover)

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Cranky By Phuc Tran, Pete Oswald (Illustrator) Cover Image

Cranky (Hardcover)

By Phuc Tran, Pete Oswald (Illustrator)


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From the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of the Food Group series, Pete Oswald, and debut picture book author Phuc Tran, this is a hilarious picture book about big trucksbig feelings, and even bigger friendships!

It's the last day at the construction site and Cranky the crane truck is feeling, well, cranky. And he doesn't want to talk about it. His friends Zippy, Wheezy, and Dump Chuck try to cheer him up. But you know what doesn't help when you're feeling cranky? A lot of talking.

But what will help? 

With Phuc Tran’s hilarious text and Pete Oswald’s bold expressive illustrations, this tale that’s Grumpy Monkey meets The Little Blue Truck shows young readers how kind friends and honesty are the perfect tools for navigating strong emotions. 

Phuc Tran is an award-winning writer, tattooer, and Latin teacher (for which he has won no awards). Lots of things make Phuc cranky: being too cold, being too hot, staying up too late, getting up really early, wearing baggy socks, eating jaggedy cereal for breakfast. Cranky is his first children’s book. His memoir Sigh, Gone received the New England Book Award, the Maine Literary Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, Audible, and others. Phuc lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife (who is rarely cranky) and his two daughters (who are sometimes cranky). “Phuc” is pronounced like “Luke” but with an F. Learn more at

Pete Oswald is an LA-based artist, kid lit author/illustrator, and production designer. He is the co-creator of Mingo the Flamingo, published in 2017 by HarperCollins. Pete is also the illustrator of The Bad Seed, by Jory John. When Pete is not working on books he is helping to uplift many of the most successful animated franchises as a character designer, concept artist, and production designer. Pete lives in Santa Monica, California, with his wife and two sons.

Product Details ISBN: 9780063256286
ISBN-10: 0063256282
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 6th, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English

Kids will come for the construction vehicles and leave with some social-emotional skills.  — Kirkus Reviews

Animation-style drawings by Oswald (Sleepy Sheepy), both sympathetic and funny about Cranky’s dark mood, prove a sprightly accompaniment to punny text by Tran (Sigh, Gone, for adults); together, they show how the language of empathy and “self-of-steam” can be wonderfully regulating for anyone in a funk.  — Publishers Weekly

With a perpetual frown and lidded eyes, Cranky is wonderfully endearing (though don’t tell Cranky that). This makes an ideal opportunity to discuss big feelings with little ones who like big trucks.   — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books