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The Gruffalo Paperback – March 2, 2006
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I personally feel like this a great book for children to read. Some of the literary devices it contains are theme, rhyme, repetition, and symmetry. It’s also fiction which of course appeals to children and helps them use their imagination. One of the themes I noticed was good versus evil. You can immediately see the mouse as the smaller innocent character, and the others as the evil animals that want to eat him. Though the mouse is not as frightening as the other animals, his tone is very confident and unworried. The mouse has to use his wit to think his way out of trouble which teaches children to think outside of the box and that might doesn’t always win. Throughout the entire book there is tons of rhyme: “On went the mouse through the deep dark wood. A snake saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.” The constant rhyming makes it easier and more fun for children to read. It also keeps a soft flow through the story. Repetition is also seen throughout the book. The reoccurring line, “There’s no such thing as a gruffalo!” makes it humorous because he eventually does run into a gruffalo. Another feature I noticed in this book was symmetry. The mouse encounters the fox, owl, and snake, and scares them away, but then runs into the gruffalo. He then back tracks through each of the animals and scares them again ending with scaring the gruffalo away. This was very creative to include and it makes it easier for children to see where the rising action is with the mouse encountering the vicious animals, the climax of running into the gruffalo, and the falling action of encountering the animals again.
One of the great things about this story was the illustrations. The pictures are colored with bright vivid colors that really make the images stand out. The little pictures of the mouse’s description of the gruffalo built up the expectation of what a gruffalo would look like if a person ever encountered one. It also helps the readers imagine what the gruffalo could look like. The illustrator, Axel Scheffler, did a great job with his attention to details. The emotions were clearly seen in the animals’ faces, whether it was fear or happiness. At first reading this book I wasn’t sure if it was too scary for children just because I was personally worried for the mouse. Then I noticed the mouse never looks afraid. He looks confident and brave against these predators and that’s why children can love this book and love the mouse. His strength of character is what makes the mouse such a strong character. Another great detail in this book is the large bold font. It makes it easier for children to read especially since there is not a lot of words on the pages. The voices of the other characters are also italicized, which makes it so that children can imagine those voices also. What was also interesting was the small random animals that were seen on different pages. They weren’t relevant to the story but it was funny because they all had scared looks on their faces, like they knew what was coming.
All in all, The Gruffalo was a fun and exciting book to read. Not only are the pictures and the story line attractive, but it has many literary devices that children can learn about and recognize.
It's written by Julia Donaldson who is my absolute favourite children's author right now. I was a nanny for 11 years and I know that anything by Julia Donaldson is going to be a hit. This book has been around so long and is so popular in England that there is actually a lot of merch that you can get to go with it if you choose. There's a movie, an audio book, stuffed animals to represent every character, and even a sequel! The Gruffalo's Child.
This is absolutely one of the best children's books around. I can not recommend this highly enough. Every person that I know/ am related to that is under the age of 10 has received this book from me as a present at some point in their lives. I usually purchase it as a baby shower gift because I want to make sure they have it, either that or for a child I nannied, it would be for the first birthday I celebrated with them.
Kids love this book because of the repetitive rhyming scheme and it's easy to jump in words at the end of sentences for pre-readers. I will never tire of reading this, even over and over. In fact, it's probably been 2 or 3 years since I've read it, and I could absolutely recite it from memory right now. Proudly!
In fact, stop reading this review and buy the book.