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The Children's Book Podcast

Mar 21, 2023

Katrina Moore shares Grumpy New Year, a story about spending time with the special people in our lives, but also making plans to sleep, too, because nobody wants to be grumpy. 


BOOK DESCRIPTION: Grumpy New Year by Katrina Moore; illustrated by Xindi Yan

Page Length: 40 pages

Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

"You should sleep on the long flight," said Mama.

Daisy should have slept-

but she didn't.

She was too excited to see Yeh-Yeh!

Daisy is traveling to China, and she's excited to see her Yeh-Yeh again! She has big plans for all the fun they'll have together in preparation for Lunar New Year, like flying kites and making jiao zi. But when she arrives, she has trouble sleeping and is less jolly than she hoped. Throughout the week, Yeh-Yeh tries all sorts of things to help her have a fun holiday and get her past her grumpiness. Will Daisy be able to get some rest and have one perfect day before she goes home?



(6:03) “That was always me. That still is me. If I know something is coming up, I'm just thinking of 500 things that I wanna do and how it's gonna go, and a lot of times, as you all know, in life things don't work out that way.”

(8:05) “When I was younger, I remember thinking, “Gosh, [my grandpa is] so grumpy.” And so I have that memory like, “He's grumpy. He's my grumpy grandpa.” 

When I look back on it now as a grownup, I realize he wasn't grumpy. We were just missing each other in communication.”

(9:13) “When I wanted to write a story for children that would really resonate with them, I was thinking about one of my favorite relationships. And that's the one with my grandpa.”

(12:24) “You have to eat really, really, really long noodles, that you have a long life. I made the mistake one year of cutting my noodles. And I never saw my grandpa cry like he cried when I cut my noodles. You can't cut your noodles because you'll cut your life short. And so he threw out those noodles and he gave me a new bowl with like, really, really long noodles, cause you need to have a long life, so you eat long noodles.”

(13:20) “So that's really what I remembered: everybody laughing, everybody sitting around the table, eating food, being together. Those are the sounds that I remember growing up and bring a smile to my face.” 

(14:38) “On nights where my sleep is interrupted, the next day I'm really grumpy. I'm really grumpy. Things that would not normally bother me do. And so I find myself just being very, very irritable because I haven't gotten a good rest. So I know that about myself and especially on days where I know I need to be well rested, I make sure that I am otherwise I am a very, very grumpy person.”

(18:28) “The way that Xindy has brought these characters to life. It, it just feels so, so real. And I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Xindy feels that this story is very personal to her, too. And I think that's a lot of the magic of picture books as I wrote this based off of my relationship with my grandpa and my experience.”

(22:04) “Share the things that you love to do with the people that you love. And that way when you're doing that thing, but you're not together it's like you still are. 

And I will also end with a note to remember the importance of a good night's sleep.” 





  1. Do you have a special relative in your family or with a person outside of your family? What do you value most in your relationship with this person? What is a memory you’ve shared with them that means a lot to you? 

  2. How do you feel after not getting enough sleep? How does it affect your mood? How does it affect your ability to concentrate at school? Or your ability to do things at home?

  3. Katrina talked about eating long noodles to symbolize long life as part of a New Year tradition observed by members of her family. What are some foods you eat during special holidays or occasions? What makes these foods significant or important to your celebration? (For example, do you have a birthday cake to celebrate the birthday of someone in your home?)

  4. What is something that you love or that means a lot to you? How might you share this with others? (For example, can you show it and tell them about it? Is it something you can see or do together?)



This podcast episode of The Children’s Book Podcast was written, edited, and produced by Matthew Winner. For a full transcript of this episode, visit

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Fellow teachers and librarians, want a way to explore building a stronger culture of reading in our communities? In The Reading Culture podcast, Beanstack co-founder Jordan Bookey hosts conversations that dive into beloved authors' personal journeys and insights into motivating young people to read. And I am a big fan! Check out the Reading Culture Podcast with Jordan Bookey, from Beanstack. Available wherever podcasts are found.

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