All of my kids laughed out loud at the clever mouse’s tricks in this charming story. It’s rare to find a book that appeals equally to my four and ten year olds, but The Gruffalo was definitely a winner. Combine the clever plot with the colorful illustrations and the lyrical rhyming text and you have a perfect family read aloud.
The Gruffalo Details
Title: The Gruffalo
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Alex Scheffler
Publication Year: 2012
Age Group: Preschool, Kindergarten, Early Elementary
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I think what makes this book so appealing to the young kids is the parallel structure of the story. A mouse encounters a variety of animals and tricks each one into not eating him using the same ploy each time. My preschooler loved being able to anticipate what was going to happen and having knowledge that the characters in the story were missing.
What made this book appealing to my older child was the trick that the mouse plays at the end to avoid getting eaten by the Gruffalo. Again, there is a repetition in this section that the younger kids find humorous. All and all, it is a very simple storyline that any child can follow. The weakest character triumphing at the end using his superior wits is a message that anyone can get behind.