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The Gruffalo's Child Paperback – March 1, 2007
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The localization is pretty good, too. It's not a straight word-for-word translation -- it's more like the whole story was rewritten: it's all rhyming poetry, and uses different (more eastern) words for foods, e.g. kabab. The pages read right-to-left like they should and the images have been flipped to make it appear correct. Great quality job over all. It sounds pretty cute when read aloud. From a reading level perspective, it is a bit harder than some children's books, but not overly difficult (6-10 lines of poetry per page). Some some vowel markings are present on harder words.
I found the story to be very cute and would definitely read to kids. It shows that being clever can get you quite far. Just watch out for that غرفول in the forest!
I read that Julia Donaldson originally planned for the gruffalo to be a tiger, but had to create a gruffalo to fit her rhyming scheme. I am so glad that she did. The mystery of the gruffalo builds the suspense of this tale. This book pays homage to Sendak's "Where The Wild Things Are", but still stands easily on its own. The rhyme and meter are well done and the conclusion is quite satisfying.
The illustrations by Axel Scheffler also pay homage to Sendak, but they, again, stand very well on their own. All the expressions and emotions of the mouse are conveyed by the eyes, tail and arms -- everything else remains almost static. It is a very effective technique. The gruffalo is scary, but not too scary; he does look as if he might be tricked by a clever mouse.
All in all, I'm glad my friend recommended this book. It makes a delightful addition to my son's library.