The Gruffalo is a playful story of a mouse walking in the “deep dark woods” and the creatures he encounters along the way. On his way through the woods he meets many larger, scarier animals and uses his cunning to escape danger. For example, when the little mouse meets the fox, the mouse is quick to spin his tale of his friend, the Gruffalo, who has “terrible tusks, and terrible toes, with terrible teeth in his terrible jaws. He has knobbly knees and turn out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose. His eyes are orange, his tongue is black, he has purple prickles all over his back!” This description, along with the fact that the Gruffalo loves Fox for lunch, is enough to scare the fox away. Later the mouse encounters an owl, and a snake, but the same method proves successful time and time again.
At the end, the readers and the mouse are surprised when the Gruffalo turns out to be real! Once again the mouse has to be clever and smart to get of a sticky situation!
Little kids will love this book, and beg to read it over and over again. Trust me, I must have read it to my younger brother about a hundred times. To this day I have parts of the book memorized. Donaldson did an amazing job creating catchy rhymes and using repetition, which will keep little kids engaged and chanting along with the story. The illustrations are fantastically done as well. They’re imaginative and help children see Donaldon’s words come alive.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Children in preschool and lower elementary grades will love this book, and it’s truly a joy to read. It can be hard finding children books that are equally fun for children and adults, but The Gruffalo does an amazing job of keeping readers of all ages entertained.