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Here comes the Gruffalso Child!
The Gruffalo's Child - Julia Donaldson
Member Name: juicy_lucy
The Gruffalo's Child - Julia Donaldson
Date: 29/12/05, updated on 21/01/06 (129 review reads)
Advantages: All easy rhyming text, just as endearing as The Gruffalo
Disadvantages: Non whatsoever
Have you read and enjoyed "The Gruffalo"? Try this book for the same easy reading, rhyming style. After reading "The Gruffalo", of course, we HAD to buy this, and for a while, it was compulsory bed time reading. What did |I find? A totally endearing book, in which the gruffalo's child continues the relationship with the mouse.
As with most (if not all) Julia Donaldson books, this is all rhyming, and so is very easy for young children to follow and remember, so increasing their enjoyment of the story...they LOVE it when they can repeat some of the text.
It starts with the gruffalo and his child (boy/girl, not sure!) sitting in their little cave, and gruffalo tells his child that "no gruffalo should set foot in the deep dark wood" The little gruffalo is naturally curious and asks why. Remember the mouse in "The Gruffalo"? If children have read it, they will probably guess why little one should avoid the wood. IT'S THE MOUSE!! The Gruffalo goes on to explain what the mouse is like...terribly strong with a scaly tail, eyes like pools of terrible fire and whiskers tougher than wire. We like this bit and have to cross reference with "The Gruffalo" since my daughter is convinced (and rightly so) that the mouse in the first book was only tiny.
Of course, being a child, the gruffalo's child HAS to go into the deep dark wood to find this mouse. Be careful comes the cry because if children have read this before, they know what's going to happen.
He finds a tail in the snow "could this be the tail of the mouse?" No, it's the snake who tells him that the mouse is by the lake "eating gruffalo cake" Brave little gruffalo soldiers on through the snow repeating to himself that he is not scared. What's this...he sees claw marks and two gleaming eyes. Could this be the Big Bad Mouse? No, his tail is too short and he had no whiskers. It was owl who told little gruffalo that mouse was "somewhere nearby eating gruffalo pie". Still unafriad, the gruffalo's child soldiers on and sees a track in the snow. Could this be the home of The Big Bad Mouse? It's a fox who tells him that the mouse is "under a tree- drinking gruffalo tea.
Ohg dear, the gruffalo's child thinks it's all a trick and sits down, thinking that he doesn't believe in the Big Bad Mouse.
At this stage, we go into almost pantomime mode, with little lady shouting at the gruffalo that yes, indeed, there IS a mouse.
Suddenly, out of his house comes a tiny mouse, superb for a midnight feast thinks the gruffalo's child.
Clever mouse thinks fast and tells the gruffalo's child that he has a friend "so big and bad" he would like him to meet.
At last, thinks the gruffalo's child, the Big Bad Mouse!
Little mouse hops onto the branch of a nearby tree and we see a HUGE shadow fall across the snow. It looks as though he is carrying a boulder on his shoulder, and he looks big and strong.
Poor gruffalo's child is terrified, and runs. Do I blame him, not at all.
Mouse follows the footprints all the way back to the gruffalo cave where the gruffalo's child was a bit less brave and a bit less bored and quite happy to stay in the cave with the Gruffalo.
At the end of the story, there's the mouse, on a rock, eating his nut, just as we found him in "The Gruffalo"
Phew...whistle stop explanation of the storyline
Alex Scheffler seems to illustrate alot of Julia Donaldson books, and their styles merge brilliantly.
The Gruffalo is obviously the same gruffalo, with his child being a mini version.
The story takes place at night, and the illustartions really show the gruffalo's child struggling through the snow. When he is walking along, he is shown with his head bent against the wind.
I like the fact, and children notice this too, that at the start of the story, gruffalo's child is sitting in the cave with his toys around him, which a made of twigs, and as he wanders about, he carries one of them, as a child would carry a favourite toy.
When he sees the mouse, it's a great illustration, with him jumping back in horror but still clutching his toy!
WHY DO I LIKE THIS?
Lots of ideas to use with children.
I obviously read it to my little girl with alarming frequency, but in school, I have used it to illustrate shadows because the part where the mouse stands on the tree illuminated by the moon is a lovely way to show very young children the effect of light and shadows.
Children quickly pick up the repetitive text and especially like to say "I'm not scared and at the end of appropriate lines, they will join in with "Big Bad Mouse"
Excellent to go through rhyming words...let children finish off sentences with a different rhyming word to that used in the book...could be nonsence but children love nonsense.
My little girl has "The Gruffalo" with her when we read this- it's almost a sense of security to ensure that all the characters are the same...they are.
It's a GREAT read and can be read to very young children, and older children understand some of the concepts of overcoming fears and thinking of ways round problems.
Yes, certainly. I did wonder if it would be as good as "The Gruffalo"; it is and neither my daughter nor I were disappointed.
Macmillan Children's Books
1 405 02045 8
Has information about the author, and her books, neatly divided into picture books, early readers, songs and poems. If you enjoy Julia Donaldson books, it's worth checking it out.
OTHER BOOKS BY JULIA DONALDSON
Follow the Swallow
One Ted Fell Out of Bed
Room on the Broom
Sharing a Shell
The Magic Paintbrush
Summary: Lovely rhyming text which children will repeat and enjoy