Friday, April 27, 2007


This book is written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Having heard a lot about this book from my husband, I was quite eager to read this to my son when I got hold of it. I fell in love with it the very first time I read it :-). It is the story of a little mouse who takes a stroll through the woods and encounters a few animals who are quite eager to devour him. He makes up an imaginary creature called "Gruffalo" and presents a frightful image of it to all these animals. It has the intended scary effect and makes them take to their heels. But finally who does he meet and how does he save his own skin smartly? This forms the rest of the story and I don't want to let out the suspense :-).

Now I will move on to what I loved about this book! The illustrations of the deep dark woods are excellent and makes you feel as though you are walking through them yourself. The story line is simple, very interesting and witty. The sentences are also simple and the rhyming words add a charm as you read the story aloud! Some of the lines which caught my fancy -

When the fox asks the mouse where he is meeting the gruffalo he says

Here, by these rocks,
And his favourite food is roasted fox

When the owl repeats this question to the mouse he says

Here, by this stream,
And his favourite food is owl ice cream

Sooraj smiled as I read these lines to him, as he thought it was quite funny!

It is mentioned at the back of the book that there are eight wonderful picture books by the same author and illustrator pair. I have a feeling they will also be quite interesting. We have another lovely book of Julia Donaldson at home called "The Magic paint brush" .

Vist Gruffalo's site for activities, games and fun!


sathish said...

this book is a real treat!

I love the illustrations and words! It is funny and somewhat sounds like Jataka tales of yore!

I heard it is extremely popular in UK and some say it is as popular as Harry Potter! that is a big claim still I can see why it could get pretty popular.

Sheela said...

thank you for the review, ranjani. i have come to appreciate children's books with rhyme and meter, and if they happen to be funny and witty like you noted, it certainly ends up catching children's fancy... not to mention the illustrations!

Praba Ram said...

It's one of those circular tales - as in - like one animal after another on every scene..isn't it? Stories like those are fun indeed -a form of story-telling that can be catch children's interest in listening! Kids love repetitive words in the text...It can help their prediction skills. Eric Carle books are great at that!

B o o said...

You guys are not making my life easier by reviewing good books after good books! ;) Cant wait to lay my hands on all these wonderful books.
Thank you for the review Ranjani.

viji said...


I visit this site on and off.

The book "snail and the whale" and "where's my mom" both by Julia Donaldson and Illustrated by Axel Scheffer are good.


utbtkids said...

I borrowed this book from our library and it so turns out that I am the one who hasn't read it :)

The kids said that they have been reading this book for over an year in their school library.

I loved it. Put a smile on my face.

ranjani.sathish said...

I am glad you liked it utbt. Sooraj and Shraddha are so familiar with Axel Scheffler illustration style that they can spot it anywhere !!

Sheela said...

I second Satish, Ranjani - a real treat! Especially when it is a hit 2nd time around - I remember mentioning it in Love And Roast Chicken comment space - now, to see Oggie, very much like Ana, sit spellbound listening to the sing-song reading of this book is a much-needed boost for the soul! I suspect I love this book way more than the kids do - like Satish noted, the clever mouse manages to trick the gruffalo, much like in Panchatantra, Jataka and Hitopadesha tales, and there is a hint of a "moral of the story is..." if we are so inclined :)

Gosh you have no idea what a treat it is to have ST as a wonderful resource/repository - especially since my little ones are somewhat "junior" and can benefit from the interests of their "senior" counterparts :)

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