Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson
Illustrator:  Axel Scheffler 
Board book
Penguin, 2005   ISBN: 0803730470

A little mouse is taking a walk in the woods one day when he runs into a fox. Not surprisingly, the fox thinks that mouse would make a very tasty morsel, and he invites the mouse to have a meal with him. The mouse, being a smart little fellow, declines very politely,  saying that he is going to have lunch with a gruffalo, a fearsome creature who just happens to be very partial to fox.  Needless to say, the fox does not stick around, not being keen to meet the mouse’s dreadful friend. The mouse is delighted to see how well his fib fooled the fox, thinking the fox silly because he doesn’t know that there is no such thing as a gruffalo.

Mouse goes on to meet an owl and snake, both of whom are also eager to eat mouse. To both of them mouse tells the same story about the gruffalo,  and both of the animals behave just as the fox did – running away as fast as they can before the gruffalo appears on the scene.

The next animal that mouse meets is none other than the gruffalo himself. Unfortunately for the mouse, the gruffalo is just as keen to eat him as the fox, owl, and snake were. Now the mouse has to come up with a new ploy to save himself.

This deliciously clever and funny book has been a great success,  delighting children with its clever story and its wonderful colorful illustrations.