Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: The Gruffalo

I love children's books and not just because I have the peanut to read to everyday but also because I just love, love, love the art, the story and the inspiration I can get from them.

I'll admit happily to being one of those people who pick a book based on the cover, especially in the case of a good children's book, where the illustrations are just as important as the story itself.

When we started reading to the Peanut we always chose and continue to choose books that have a good story, some kind of narrative, characters that are enjoyable to reading about, and of course there must be brilliant illustrations. This has meant that for the most part, the board books featuring a single word and illustration have been fairly rare in our house, when they do come in they are the Peanuts picks and we read them as many times as she wants to along with the other great story books that can be read over and over without turning our brains into mush.

This is what this feature is about*, those books we bring home (from the book store, from the library and from wherever we come across them) and fall in love with. A while ago a good friend gave us a copy of one of these.

click on the book cover to buy this book

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler quickly became a rhyming success at quiet time and nap time with the Peanut. It has fun illustrations, a snappy rhythm; written in Iambic Pentameter making it fun to read aloud. The Peanut loves reading with repetition and we found that she jumped in and start telling us the story herself after one read.

The book tells the story of a little mouse who takes a stroll through the deep dark wood where he encounters a number of scary creatures who would like to take him home and make him their dinner, all pretty scary if you are a mouse but none so scary as the Gruffalo. Reading along to see what a Gruffalo is and how our mouse evades becoming a snack is a fun and entertaining book with a great twist that allows for the underdog of the story to put one over on the big guys! It's not easy to find a book that doesn't get boring to read after the first 20 re-reads and The Gruffalo fits happily in the read it over and over category with ease.

Julia Donaldson has written a number of other fabulous books including another current favourite Tyrannosaurus Drip and a past library re-renewal Night Monkey Day Monkey as well as a number of other equally lovable books, you can find out more at her website and more about the Gruffalo on his website where you can find activities, games and become one of the Gruffalo Gang.

Now go read a book!

*None of the books I will review here are solicited by authors or publishing companies, they are just books that we can't get enough of. If this is not the case, and I have been given a book to review by anyone I will make it very clear at the beginning of a review that this is the case.


ShallowGal said...

The cover alone makes me smile.

xo, SG

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Thee Smith Family said...

We just discovered the Gruffalo a month ago (on recommendation from another friend) and love, love LOVED it too. I love a cleverly written, beautifully illustrated kid's book. The more you read good children's lit, the more you find there is a lot of books lacking. ps, I also judge books by the cover, all the time and I'm not ashamed to say it!

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