The Gruffalo Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Penguin Group 1999
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.