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My son received this jigsaw as a present for his 3rd birthday, and it was very well-received by him. The gruffalo is a character that appeals to girls and boys alike, and seems to appeal to a bigger age range than some characters - my children are now 6, 4 and 2 and they all love the story and characters. I would say that 3 - 4 is the best age range for this jigsaw. It has big pieces, and there are only 24 of them so it is easy to handle and doesn't take a massive concentration span. However, now my son is in Reception (as one of the youngest) he is not really interested in it. My 2 year old daughter loves it but can't complete it, so she tends to a) carry the pieces around the house for me to find!? or b) say "mummy, make the gruffalo" in which case she watches as I obey and make it for her. It is simply too tricky for under 3s, in my opinion. The picture on the jigsaw is of the classic gruffalo in his usual background, which is nice, and I like the fact that it is a simple rectangle rather than having faffy extra bits or multiple puzzles in one box which I find harder for young kids to work out. The pieces are good quality - the usual jumbo jigsaw style of reinforced board with glossy printed picture on the front. The picture is good quality and the colours are strong. The box has stood up to a year of use without bits breaking off, which is great in our household! The RRP is apparently £8.99, although it is available a few pounds cheaper at time of writing. I think it is overpriced at £8.99, but reasonable value at around £6 or less. Overall, this jigsaw does exactly what you expect it to - great for 3-4 year olds who like the gruffalo (who doesn't?!), good for hand-eye co-ordination and creative thinking. It is a good quality item, and my only criticism is that it may be grown out of within a year, but this is true of many puzzles. Recommended.
If you are the parent of a child 7 and under, I don't need to introduce The Gruffalo I'm sure; if not, the Gruffalo is the star of 2 books (if you count The Gruffalo Child), 2 film adaptations, and numerous spin-off toys, books, cd's, slippers, posters etc. Probably second only to The Simpsons! My daughter already has a nice array of Gruffalo plushes, books, even cd's, so we were looking for something a little different this time. We found it with this Gruffalo floor puzzle, ideal as it was something she could play with by herself, as well as with mum and dad. The puzzle comes in a nice, big box , with exactly the same illustration on the box that makes up the puzzle, and the box has a carry handle; the handle has actually come in useful as my daughter likes to take the puzzle with her to friends houses, and insists on carrying the box herself! The puzzle pieces inside are loose, which makes it very satisfying for little hands when they tip the box upside down and they all tumble out. The puzzle itself is nice and large, which makes picking up the pieces and placing them nice and easy for young children's hands; we had previously bought a zoo puzzle, with more standard size pieces that my daughter soon bored of as she found it too tricky to identify the pieces, pick them up, snap them together etc. This puzzle, however, had perfect sized pieces. The puzzle consists of 24 pieces, about the right amount for the concentration span of young children, and when completed measures out an impressive 49 x 68.5 cm. The pieces do feel good quality as well, you don't feel as though the top layer will peel away as with cheaper puzzles. What I really enjoy the most, as cheesy as it sounds, is my 3 year old's sense of achievement when she completes it; she really enjoys it when I make a big show of jumbling up all the pieces, proclaiming 'its impossible to do!', and then gets to work. Aside from the fun aspect, it is a useful way for children to improve hand eye coordination, develop their thinking and feel a sense of achievement. We couldn't have been happier with purchasing this. Good quality, colourful, fun to do, and Gruffalo and mouse too!
When my youngest daughter was two her favorite book was the Gruffalo, we must have read it to her nearly every night. So for Christmas we decided to buy her lots of Gruffalo related toys including this 24 piece floor Jigsaw puzzle which I am reviewing today. I bought the jigsaw puzzle from Amazon but can't remember exactly how much I paid for it. Currently it is on sale for £7.49 and I probably paid around that price for it. Free super saver delivery is also available for this product. The Jigsaw puzzle comes in a very sturdy, durable cardboard box. This can be kept and used to store the puzzle in which is very handy and helps keep all the pieces safely together so none go missing or get damaged. The box has a green plastic handle so it is easy to carry about. The front of the box shows the image on the jigsaw which is one of the illustrations from the book. In the left hand corner there is a bright orange circle and within this is a simple black gruffalo drawing along with the words "The Gruffalo - Julia Donaldson - Axel Scheffler". At the bottom of the box it states clearly that this jigsaw contains 24 pieces and is suitable for ages 3 and up. On the bottom of the box a warning is given to keep away from children under 36 months as it may pose a choking hazard. The side shows a photo of a little boy happily playing with the jigsaw and this photo also gives us an idea of the jigsaws size. Measurements are also given (490 x 685 / 19" x 27"). So, this jigsaw puzzle is a nice large size. The jigsaw pieces themselves are strong and durable, my daughter has been playing with this for nearly a year now and the jigsaw shows very little signs of wear and tear. The backs of the pieces are just a plain cardboard grey colour, I think it would have been nicer to make them coloured but this is only a small annoyance. The actual illustration on the jigsaw is a side view of both the Gruffalo and the Little Brown Mouse which is featured near the end of the book. The sky is blue and the characters are standing on a sandy coloured floor with large rocks and trees in the background. There are a few flies buzzing around the Gruffalo's head. Whilst the image is nice, it is not exactly colouful and many of the pieces are of either the plain blue sky or the brown fur of the Gruffalo, I feel this makes the puzzle a little boring and slightly too difficult. The pieces are of a high quality and have a bit of a shine to them. Occasionally the pieces have become a little mucky but I have found them very easy to clean by simply wiping them with a damp cloth. The pieces are large making them easy for little hands. My daughter has had no problems picking up the pieces and slotting them together. My daughter has loved this jigsaw puzzle and it has been well played with often over the past year. When she first got it she did find it a bit difficult but it was a good challenge for her and one I enjoyed helping her with. Now she is nearly four and finds this easy to do by herself so I feel she has nearly grow out if it. I would say this jigsaw is suitable for ages 3-5. There are plenty of jigsaws on the market for young children but if your child is into the Gruffalo or indeed any of the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book then this Jigsaw would be ideal and much loved.
For those of you who have not yet discovered the wonderful children's book The Gruffalo, you may want to know who he is before I review the jigsaw! The Gruffalo is an award winning childrens book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It was recently voted the most loved children's book and is a staple in nurseries, pre-schools, creches and homes. This week sees the animated short film version nominated for an Oscar! The Gruffalo is the story of Mouse, who takes a stroll through the deep, dark wood and along the way bumps into Fox, Owl and Snake - all of whom *invite* Mouse for lunch, or in other words TO BE lunch. Mouse has to think quick and so invents a creature with knobbly knees and turned out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose. Thinking he is very clever, Mouse exclaims "doesn't he know? There is no such thing as a Gruffalo!" Until... he bumps into ... a real life Gruffalo, who quite fancies Mouse on a slice of bread. So, Mouse has to be extra clever, and tells the Gruffalo that he is the scariest creature in the wood, and if the Gruffalo walks behind Mouse, he will soon see that everyone is afraid of him! The Gruffalo laughs, but agrees, and as he walks behind Mouse they encounter Snake, Owl and Fox, who all take one look at the Gruffalo and run (fly or slither) away scared! The Gruffalo thinks they are running away from Mouse, who declares that is tummy is beginning to rumble, and his favourite food is Gruffalo Crumble... and the Gruffalo, quick as the wind, turns and fled! The story is amazing, but the illustrations are part of what makes this book so loved by a generation (or two) of children across the world. Axel Scheffler is award winning, and his depiction of the Gruffalo is astounding, causing the gasps and smiles of many small children (and parents) and that is what makes this jigsaw so wonderful. What is it? This is a large 24 piece floor puzzle, showing the Gruffalo meeting Mouse for the first time. The pieces are large, perfect for little hands, and the picture is simple enough for small children to grasp. The puzzle itself is very sturdy and doesn't bend easily, so no damaged or ripped pieces. My daughter is two, so slightly too young to fully grasp jigsaws, but she loves working with us to match the pieces, and is learning how to match the shapes (perfect size for a first jigsaw) and loves seeing the picture of the Gruffalo and the Mouse emerge as each piece is slotted together. She will happily spend 15 minutes on the floor with us putting the puzzle together, shouting out parts of the story as we go - for instance when the nose is put into place she shouts "poisonous wart end of nose!". It is 3+ - but only because the skills of putting a jigsaw together are quite complex, it is perfectly suitable for younger children, who love the story as they can put it together with the help of parents/siblings and will enjoy seeing the picture emerge. Is it worth £4.95? Most definately, it sells for alot more in many independent stores, and for such a large puzzle it is definately worth the money. Would I buy it again? Yes, and I would buy different versions of it also.