Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Gruffalo's Child

The Gruffalo's Child

Julia Donaldson
Illustrator:  Axel Scheffler 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Penguin, 2005   ISBN: 0803730098

On a cold wintery day, the Gruffalo tells his child that no gruffalo should ever set foot “in the deep dark wood.” The child, of course, is curious to know why the deep dark wood is dangerous for gruffalos, and her father explains that the Big Bad Mouse lives there. This terrible creature has strong muscles, a “terribly long” tail, eyes that are like “pools of terrible fire,” and wire like whiskers.

One snowy night, while her father is snoring away in their cave, the Gruffalo’s child sneaks off and she goes into the woods. She soon sees a trail in the snow and she wonders if this is the trail of the Big Bad Mouse. When she gets to the end of the trail, she discovers that the trail was made by a snake. Next the Gruffalo’s child sees glowing eyes looking down at her from a tree, but the eyes do not belong to the Big Bad Mouse either. They belong to an owl.

After finding a number of animals who are not the Big Bad Mouse, the Gruffalo’s child finds a mouse that is small and certainly not bad. In fact, the mouse would make a tasty “midnight feast” for the Gruffalo’s child. The mouse then tells the Gruffalo’s child that he has a friend that the little gruffalo “ought to meet.”

In this delightful picture book, the Graffalo’s child discovers that it wise to listen to her father’s warning. Readers who enjoyed the first book about the Gruffalo will love this new tale with its engaging rhyming text and its