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The Gruffalo (Picture Books) Hardcover – February 7, 2005


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100%20Children%27s%20Books%20to%20Read%20in%20a%20Lifetime

--This text refers to the Board book edition.


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The Gruffalo (Picture Books) + The Snail and the Whale + Room on the Broom
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: Picture Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial (February 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803731094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803731097
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.8 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The eponymous character introduced by this British team owes a large debt to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. When Mouse meets Fox in the "deep dark wood," he invents a story about the gruffalo, described very much like Sendak's fearsome quartet of wild thingsA"He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws." The gullible fox runs away when Mouse tells him that the gruffalo's favorite food is roasted fox. "Silly old Fox!" says Mouse, "Doesn't he know?/ There's no such thing as a gruffalo!" Owl and Snake follow suit until, with a turn of the page, Mouse runs into the creature he has imagined. Quick-thinking Mouse then tells the monster, "I'm the scariest creature in this deep dark wood./ Just walk behind me and soon you'll see,/ Everyone for miles is afraid of me." Fox, Owl and Snake appear to be terrified of the tiny mouse, but readers can plainly see the real object of their fears. By story's end, the gruffalo flees, and Mouse enjoys his nut lunch in peace. Despite the derivative plot line, debut author Donaldson manipulates the repetitive language and rhymes to good advantage, supplying her story with plenty of scary-but-not-too-scary moments. Scheffler's gruffalo may seem a goofy hybrid of Max's wild things, but his cartoonlike illustrations build suspense via spot-art previews of the monster's orange eyes, black tongue and purple prickles until the monster's appearance in full. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-To save himself from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, an enterprising mouse declares that he is having lunch with a monster whose favorite food just happens to be the animal who is at that moment threatening him. With each telling, the gruffalo becomes more menacing until all of the rodent's tormentors leave him unharmed. The mouse scoffs at them, for everyone knows "There's no such thing as a gruffal...." But a turn of the page reveals-you guessed it-a gruffalo, that thinks the mouse will "...taste good on a slice of bread." Undaunted, the rodent devises a plan to frighten the monster off. Young readers will love the humor in this preposterous story of a trick that backfires and the way the protagonist talks himself out of his difficulties. Best of all, they will relish being in on the joke as they join in the reading of the delightfully repetitious rhyming text. Scheffler's cartoonlike illustrations, rendered in watercolor, colored pencils, and ink, are large and well paced. Facial expressions contrast the animals' alarm with the jaunty nonchalance of the mouse. The double-page spread that reveals the gruffalo-terrible claws, black tongue, poisonous wart, purple prickles, and all-is just scary enough to tickle but not frighten youngsters. Serve this one for a rollicking good time.
Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the author of many successful books for children, including the classic THE GRUFFALO, which has won the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Award for the Best Book to Read Aloud. THE GRUFFALO'S CHILD was one of the biggest best-sellers of 2004 and won WHS Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Julia has also written many children's plays and songs, and runs regular storytelling and drama workshops. She lives in Glasgow with her family.

Customer Reviews

My 2 1/2 year old daughter loves this book!
tkj
This is a great book from one of my favorite children's authors, Julia Donaldson.
Stanley Cup
The rhymes are great, the illustrations are great and the story is wonderful.
Micah Elizabeth McCann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mike...M on August 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
A review of the hardcover edition applies to the softcover as well:

The Gruffalo is a delightfully irreverent story about a mouse and an imaginary monster, sure to please grown-ups as well as children. This is a case where you CAN judge the book by its humorous cover, and you won't be disappointed. Axel Scheffler's brightly colored and too-silly-to-be-really-scary illustrations set the tone for this light-hearted romp through multiple layers of comic irony; and Julia Donaldson's marvelous doggerel perfectly realizes the mouse's sprightly character.

It's much more than great fun, though. The Gruffalo also has tremendous resonance with familiar elements of Western culture. This is a story that Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell all could love. It's a perfect little Hero's Journey: it's got "the deep dark wood," a confrontation with the Monster Within, and a victorious return to the ordinary world where a nut is good. Had this been a fable of Aesop, we could expect our hero to be eaten right in the middle, and we would be left with some such lesson as "Don't be too clever for your own good." Instead, our mythical mouse makes his Eternal Return bearing a subtle wisdom that echoes the teachings of the world's greatest mystics.

The very structure of the story is classic, reminiscent of the great repetitive folk tales, such as "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," "The Three Little Pigs," or "The Little Red Hen." The mouse's encounter with a dangerous predator is repeated with slight variation in the wording three times (yes, three times, as in three crows of a cock, three days in the belly of the fish, three temptations under a bo tree...
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Momof3 on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this to replace our current tattered read-so-much version and the copy I received has been altered from the original text! I have no idea why except that some clever fellow decided that Americans wouldn't recognize some of the layout of the language - as the book is written with British wording - ridiculous! The part that says "oh my" fox said should read "I'm off!" Fox said .. this has totally changing the rhyme in some places. Not the book we've grown to love.. sending it back for the same the hard cover one I currently have and hopefully it will not be with the altered text!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Shopaholic on November 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my kindergarten class and they LOVE it! The children act it out, sequence the story through pictures, journal about it and talk about it for months it is one of their favorites and mine too! I love reading it because they get so excited and it is so much fun to read over and over!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful story of an imaginative mouse who while taking a walk through the woods makes up a story about a animal he calls a Gruffalo , he makes up this animal to protect himself from the various predators (fox, owl, snake ) that want to eat him .He succeeds in frightening away the animals ,but than he meets the animal of his imagination a Gruffalo. Now he has a bigger problem the Gruffalo wants to eat him, so he tells the Gruffalo to walk behind him through the wooods and see how afraid the animals are of him (the mouse that is ). The Gruffalo of course doesn't believe that the animals could possibly be afraid of a mouse so he walks behind the mouse , and when the animals of the woods see the Gruffalo behind the mouse they runaway in fright and the Gruffalo believes that the mouse was telling the truth and runs away from the mouse himself. Very enjoyable for both parent and child. Wonderfully illustrated, I highly recommend the Gruffalo
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard D. Lambert on September 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I saw an article about Julia Donaldson in The Guardian a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued enough to try to find a copy of the book -- thank you Amazon! The Gruffalo arrived today and lived up to my expectations as a book worth adding to my kiddie lit collection. The story is a simple one, told in rhyme, about a mouse who meets 3 animals and convinces each of them not to eat him because he is going to have lunch with a gruffalo and those 3 animals happen to be the gruffalo's favourite foods. Then he meets a gruffalo and convinces the gruffalo not to eat him because he, the mouse, is the toughest animal in the woods. And the gruffalo becomes a believer as he follows the mouse and all of the animals run away when they see the mouse? or is it the trailing gruffalo. The pictures by Axel Scheffler are well drawn, but what makes the book special is Julia Donaldson's ability to tell the story all in rhyme. She belongs on a shelf next to Dr. Seuss. This book should become more widely known to American parents; it is a real winner and well deserving of the "Smarties Gold Book Prize award. I see that Amazon is out of stock of both the board books and the cd's and tapes. Get with it Amazon and stock up for the Christmas rush!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book for K and 1st graders. The story is written in rhyming fashion and is very thought provoking and it gives lots of chances to guess what happens next. It follows a path and then returns to a ending that make you smile. Kids will love it. Illustrations are well done. Very Imaginative.
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