This is another book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler that brings back the Gruffalo and the clever little mouse. But here we also meet another adorable character. It turns out that the Gruffalo is a father to a sweet little monster, the Gruffalo’s Child.
“The Gruffalo said that no Gruffalo should ever set foot in the deep dark wood…” While the Gruffalo is asleep, his little daughter is not sleepy at all and decides to head into the deep dark wood on a search for the big bad mouse, the one terribly-terrible creature the Gruffalo is afraid of.
This is a sweet cautionary tale where the Gruffalo’s Child (and the reader) meets all the characters from The Gruffalo, the owl, the fox, the snake, and, of course, the little mouse. And once more, the little mouse uses its wits to avoid being eaten. (yes, apparently mice are that tasty, everyone wants to eat them! 🙂 ) Instead of the mouse, the Gruffalo’s Child is the protagonist of this story and instead of describing the Gruffalo, here the Big Bad Mouse is portrayed as a huge creature with wiry whiskers and eyes like pools of terrible fire.
The ending of the story is great, the little monster does find the Big Bad Mouse which turns out to be a just shadow of the little mouse (the little monster does not know this and gets scared). This is great in teaching the little ones that even the scary things are not that scary after all if you know what they truly are.
The story is very easy to read. Even after the first time I could remember some lines (one in particular, “…and over his shoulder he carries a nut as big as a boulder…”). I have read that rhyming words promote speech development in children. The rhymes in this book are effortless, flowing and easy to remember. The repetition of some sentences is great, makes it easier to remember the rhymes and helps move the story from scene to scene.
But I must say that to be able to understand why the fox, the owl and the snake are scared of the little Gruffalo’s child when he asks them about the mouse you should read The Gruffalo to your child first. The beautiful illustrations compliment the story and are wonderfully done. One of the best children’s books on our list.
As with The Gruffalo, there is also an animated TV film based on the book, and as in the first film, a mother squirrel tells the story to her little children and acts as the narrator. It used the same text of the book and is beautifully voiced.
Another must-have on any child’s bookshelf.