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Both my children have enjoyed the Julia Donaldson books and I have to admit to doing so too. The Gruffalo was one of my son's first in their collection and has always been a firm favourite with my eldest but only his daddy can read it to him when he is home from base. Seeing the colouring book which also teams as an activity book as well I had to get it for my eldest and thankfully he was happy to do it with me! The Gruffalo colouring book is a great add on book to the actual story. The Gruffalo is a story you will find you will read again and again so using this colouring book will allow your child to explore the story more themselves and use their own imagination all important learning curves for a young child. Now although I would recommend you have already read the story there is nothing stopping your child using it if they haven't. The colouring books activities follow the actual story along with linking in actual phases taken from the book. Each page holds an activity as well as colouring being the main feature. The first double spread consists of the Gruffalo, mouse and other familiar characters from the book in the woods. The picture is bare in places and it prompts your child to colour the characters and see if they can add more trees to the scene to colour in. So as well as getting your child to colour in the picture in using pen control there is also room for their own creativity too. Moving on throughout the book are wonderful pictures to colour taken from the actual book so your child will be able to find them in the book themselves and maybe like my son use it as an aid to what to colour each bit in. My son loves the pictures in the book what child wouldn't Axel Scheffler's illustrations are fantastic, so when my son got a chance to colour them in his colouring book he was over the moon. There are also parts to complete, a simple dot to dot and gridded picture to copy. My son especially liked the idea of the gridded picture to copy into the grid below. I thought it was a fab idea too as it gave your child a really good chance of been able to do the picture using their concentration on each square at a time. Towards the end of the book is a double page spread asking your child to design some monsters of their own. The page has starters dotted around the page for example two horns in one area, some eyes in another. My son loved using his imagination and having the starters helped his confidence in where to start. Although the book is mainly a colouring book it gives room for your child to explore their own minds and be creative I really liked this. Also it tended to keep my son more interested. He loves colouring but as he is very creative and is fantastic at his own drawings he tends to get a bit bored after a while. This book kept him going. I bought this book for my son last year when he was four and within a few weeks he had completely most of it. Personally I think it is best suited to the young age market around 3 to 5 years. My son is now 5 and is moving onto more complex things so he may have tired of it now. The book retails at £3.99 which I think is reasonable for such a wonderful book. Amazon currently has it for sale for £2.50 making it a great add on present.
My son and my husband are huge fans of the Gruffalo. My husband has enjoyed reading the Gruffalo and related books to my son since he was very young. My son is now almost 4 and he has started to enjoy colouring and drawing more, so when I came across this colouring book, I thought it would be something nice for us all to do together. The gruffalo is by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The colouring book has a large picture of the Gruffalo on the front and the Gruffalo text (same as the book and dvd), making it instantly recognizable as a Gruffalo product. There are oictures of colouring pencils, crayons, paint brushes and one felt tip pen on the front cover, that show straight away what we can expect from inside this book. On the reverse of the book it states 'colouring fun with the Gruffalo! there's lots to do in this busy book, so grab your pens and pencils and get ready to join in.' Inside the front cover, and the back cover there are pictures of all the different Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler books available. There is also a link to the Gruffalo website for more activities and games. On the first page there is a small picture of the Gruffalo holding a sign that says coloured in by, providing a space to write your childs name, making the book more personal. I think it will be something I'll keep and show my son when he's grown up. A little keep sake for Mummy!! The pages of the book are thick, good quality paper. The paper is thick enough that when felt tip pens are used, they don't go through to the other side. Which is excellent as no pictures get ruined and both sides can be used. Nothing worse than when you can only use half a colouring book. The illustrations in the colouring book, are just like the ones in the story book, except mostly without colour. The first 2 pages are for simply colouring in, all the main characters from the Gruffalo story are there, with some trees to colour, and there is also some blank space to add trees of your own/childs. Some of the pictures like that on the 3rd page, have quotes straight from the story book, with a picture to be coloured to match. All the pages that have a simply to colour picture, have a plain coloured border round them, and all the puzzles/tasks have detailed illustrations (that look as if they could have been taken straight from the story book) round them. One of the tasks that is featured a few times, but for different pictures is to draw parts of the Gruffalo. These include his turned-out toes and his terrible teeth. These are inside circles in faint lines, that need to be drawn over. These are quite detailed and small, so myself or my husband had to do these as to hard for our young son. These would be better for older children. There is a dot to dot puzzle, and there are two grid drawings. The grid drawing tasks have two sets of grids on each page, the top grid set is a completed illustration, and the bottom grid set is blank. The aim is to copy the top picture onto the bottom, one grid square at a time. I think this is aimed at older children, this was far to tricky for my son to do. There are a couple of pages for imagination drawings, where you/your child can use there imagination to use the blank spaces provided to draw backgrounds for the Gruffalo, and draw son of his favourite foods. My son's favourite part of this colouring book, is an activity/page where you can draw your own monsters. Overall I thought this was a great colouring book/activity book for all Gruffalo lovers, however I felt it was trying to please too many age groups at once. I am not sure what the target age market was for this colouring book. I found that some of the activites were to hard for my son/young children that are at the perfect Gruffalo loving age. The children that are of suitable age to complete these activites may have lost intrest/almost grown out of the Gruffalo by the time they can tackle these themselves. I would have liked just a colouring book/ simple activities from this for my son, however that being said I picked up for around £3 and it has provided us with hours of fun, so I can't complain to much.