Marvelous Picture Books – The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

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Gruffalo
Rhyming is sometimes overdone (and done wrongly) in Children’s literature. It’s refreshing when a children’s book perfects the use of rhyming – which is exactly what The Gruffalo does. This book pairs charming rhymes with a funny tale of a little mouse. The end result is a book that will have kids begging you to read it again. So what exactly is the story about?

Picture a mouse, strolling through the dark woods, where everyone is hungry for him. The mouse has to be witty if he wants to avoid being eaten by the fox, owl, and snake. In steps the gruffalo, a monster that mouse has made up to scare the animals who want to eat him. And scare him he does, with his descriptions of big teeth and a black tongue.

Mouse is quite happy with his imaginary monster who’s scared away everyone who wanted to eat him, especially since there’s no such thing as a gruffly. That is, until the gruffalo turns out to be real! Right in front of the little mouse is the huge monster that he thought he just made up. Of course, the gruffly wants to eat the little mouse, too. Mouse is forced to be witty again and comes up with an idea that convinces the gruffalo that everyone in the woods is scared of the little mouse (and not the scary monster that’s following him!).

The pictures and the rhymes are endearing and make the book a really fun read. It’ll capture kids attentions and keep them interested. Plus, it tells a tale of how to be smart and think quickly, just like Mouse does!

P.S. Apparently this was also made into a short film in 2009!

-Spencer Ann Besaw

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