Grouchy Mouse & Werewolf Pilot


Angela Uherbelau


Picture Book

Word Count:

532 words


A lonely, grouchy mouse meets a lonely, aviator werewolf. What could go wrong – or right?

Exploring unexpected friendship between two unlikely characters, Grouchy Mouse & Werewolf Pilot is a 532-word picture book aimed at 4 to 7-year-olds.

Having moved to a new place and knowing no one, Grouchy can’t compete with unpacked boxes for her parents’ attention. She flees outdoors where things get progressively worse. A nearby plane crash jolts her out of her misery, but when Grouchy meets the pilot, she wonders if it’s better to be sad than scared. Is this hairy creature friend or foe – and should Grouchy Mouse even stick around to find out?

In terms of my background, I am half White European descent and half Palauan. I have a B.A. from Smith College and an M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. My professional freelance work for adults has appeared in Newsweek, Marie Claire, The Oregonian and The San Francisco Chronicle and online at Narratively and Club Mid. If you’d like to see these or other stories, they’re at angelauherbelau.contently.com.

Personally, I’m passionate about elevating women’s voices within the public arena. For six years while living in the UK, I volunteered for the Junior League of London, focusing on improving local communities and developing the potential of women. Now that I’m back home on the West Coast, I volunteer as the Board president of Emerge Oregon which trains Democratic women to run for office. If she were a person and not a mouse, I’d like to think that Grouchy herself would be a future candidate.

First 300 words:

Grouchy Mouse woke up to rain.
Another sad, wet day.
Moving here was a mistake
she couldn’t wish away.


Grouchy missed her old home
where the sun shone every day,
but most of all, she missed her friends
who used to come and play.


Mommy Mouse said: “You’ll make new ones!”
Daddy Mouse: “You bet!”
But everything ’round Grouchy Mouse
was dismal, dark and wet.


They’d promised her some pancakes
so she ran down in her socks.
But now her parents couldn’t help
unpacking “one more” box.


Her tummy all a-rumble,
Grouchy Mouse let out a roar:
“If no one’s fixing breakfast,
then I’m heading out the door!”


Mommy Mouse said: “Yes, dear!”
Daddy Mouse: “You bet!”
They were struggling under pictures
that they hadn’t hung up yet.


She couldn’t find her raincoat,
or her rain boots, or her hat,
but Grouchy Mouse decided:
never mind about all that.


She grabbed a big umbrella,
marched out into the gloom,
not caring where she headed,
when she heard a great, big BOOM!


It startled her so badly,
she fell head first in a puddle,
and broke her big umbrella
which was now bent over, double.


Wet and sad and lonely,
Grouchy Mouse began to cry.
She beat her little mouse fists,
kicked her heels up to the sky.


A voice came out of nowhere:
“Oh, what will my parents say?
I had to swerve to miss that bird –
a tree got in my way!”


Speechless, Grouchy turned around.
Who or what was that?
She saw a banged-up bi-plane,
its front nose bent and flat.


Someone climbed out slowly,
in black goggles and a cap,
stunned and slightly shaken,
hairy hands around a map.

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