Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gruffalo

It’s National Poetry Month AND Perfect Picture Book Friday! What could be better than that, I ask? How about one of my favorite rhyming picture books? Gruffalo

The Gruffalo Written by Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Penguin Group 1999

Ages: 5-8

Themes: Language Fun, Humor

Synopsis: This rhythmic read-aloud follows a clever mouse on a walk through the deep dark wood, where he encounters several hungry inhabitants who want to make him their main course. Lacking size or strength as defenses, quick-witted Mouse instead taps the powers of his imagination to create the gruffalo, a “terrible creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in his terrible jaws.” But will Mouse’s frightful description be enough to ruin the appetites of his determined foes? After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. Oh, no??

A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake–only to have to outwit that creature as well.

Opening: A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good. “Where are you going to, little brown mouse? Come and have lunch in my underground house.” “It’s terribly kind of you, Fox, but no— I’m going to have lunch with a gruffalo.” Resources: HERE are online games, printouts and activities aplenty. HERE is a Pinterest page with Gruffalo crafts and activities.

Why I Like This Book: Julia Donaldson is an absolute genius! I just love her books and this is one of my faves. It’s effortless to read her rhyme and she doesn’t let it dictate her story. As far as the mouse . . . he’s quick on his little brown feet and so clever as over and over again, he evades being “lunch”. And the spread where he meets the Gruffalo . . . “Oh!” . . . his expression is priceless! But he handles it! If you haven’t read this one, it’s a must! If you’re interested, I reviewed a couple of her other books. HERE is my review for What the Ladybug Heard. And HERE is my review for The Snail and the Whale.

To find more perfect picture books, head on over to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and check out all the fantastic selections! Each book is reviewed by a picture book-lovin’ reviewer, AND includes activities to go along with the book. You will find a handy list right HERE.

40 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Gruffalo

  1. Aw, man! Definitely one of my favorite picture book authors, and author/illustrator teams! I get goosebumps whenever a new one come out. Yep, I AM a kid! Don’t let the gray fool you!

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  2. I have heard so much about this book — all good — yet I have never read it. Perhaps it’s time! (If I can drag myself away from the whale books I’m currently immersed in for research!) Thanks, Penny!

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  3. This just sounds like a pure delightful desert. IF you are not eating mouse for lunch. Thanks for the Perfect Picture book for this Friday, Penny. I”m heading to the library tomorrow, so I’ll check it out. Or one of the other Julia Donaldson books. I have not had the pleasure of reading any of hers. So thanks for introducing her to me. 🙂

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  4. Great choice, Penny, with so much suspense wrapped in terrific language. I saw the movie of it this Christmas and wasn’t disappointed.

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  5. What a very entertaining book. I love the little mouse already. The rhyme is simple and wonderful. I can hear kids adding their two cents worth as mouse encounters the dangers. What a fun book!

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  6. Has no one done this before wow! What a classic but you know I actually prefer The Snail and the Whale. I saw a new one in Chapters about a mouse bandit character. I must look out for that. Great choice Penny!

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  7. I love the Gruffalo and the Gruffalo’s Child! Her opening line in the Gruffalo is just so wonderful. On an aside, my son’s first grade class had the privilege of having a visit from Julia Donaldson this year. It was a HUGE treat for them. Great review, Penny!

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  8. I love, love, love this book! Those first two lines have me wanting to read faster and slower at the same time! Also love Julia’s Room On A Broom. Love her rhyme. Great pick!

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  9. This sounds really cool. Love the rhyme. Very playful. Now I can imagine you writing something like this. Thanks for sharing and I must have a look and see if it’s in our library here.

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