Review: Matthew Gray Gubler’s ‘Rumple Buttercup’

What we all can learn from a little green monster who hides under a banana peel

The actor’s Randomhouse debut is a charming, quirky tale for all ages.

Matthew Gray Gubler is best known for his 15-year role as BAU genius Dr. Spencer Reid on the CBS series “Criminal Minds.”

He has a much longer list of artistic accomplishments, however, recently adding children’s book author and illustrator to the list.

Gubler’s Randomhouse debut “Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging and Being Yourself” stars a self-conscious green monster of the same name. You’ll be surprised how much you identify with him.

As described on the back of the book, “Rumple Buttercup has five crooked teeth, three strands of hair, green skin and his left foot is slightly bigger than his right. He is weird.”

The lonely little monster lives in a sewer drain next to a garbage can, the contents of which he uses to furnish his home.

He is so desperate to have friends that he even creates one out of an amalgamation of discarded candy and names him Candy Corn Carl. He also is known to close his eyes and pretend he is part of the conversations happening above.

Even adults can sympathize with the feeling of being too weird or hesitating to start conversations with new people for fear of judgement.

There is one day a year that Rumple is comfortable venturing above ground during the day, and it is his favorite day of the year: the annual pajama jam cotton candy pancake parade. All that was required was the perfect disguise, a banana peel on his head.

Unfortunately, this year there is no banana peel to be found. Just when the situation looks the most helpless, the townspeople step in to show Rumple that he really isn’t that different after all, and he is definitely not scary.

Even though Gubler created this book with children in mind, it has just as much to remind us “grown ups” and is a heartwarming read.

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