The Resource The gruffalo, Julia Donaldson ; pictures by Axel Scheffler

The gruffalo, Julia Donaldson ; pictures by Axel Scheffler

Label
The gruffalo
Title
The gruffalo
Statement of responsibility
Julia Donaldson ; pictures by Axel Scheffler
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake--only to have to outwit that creature as well
Tone
Character
Illustration
Award
Nestle Children's Book Prize for Five and Under, 1999.
Review
  • Books for Youth, For the Young: Ages 4-8. Here's a clever, exuberant story in rhyme with strong, color-saturated pictures to match. A mouse frightens away the fox, the owl, and the snake who would eat him by inventing a dreadful make-believe gruffalo, whose favorite foods happen to be roasted fox, owl ice cream, and scrambled snake. But the confident mouse seems doomed when his fabrication actually appears--till he hits on an inventive plan that involves none other than his three unwitting, predatory "friends." The bouncy, humorous text flows smoothly. There's also some mounting (but not too scary) suspense as the monster, with "terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws," takes shape, piece by piece, in the pictures. This is a sure bet for small groups, with the use of italics to designate dialogue giving grown-ups a leg up for reading aloud. ((Reviewed July 1999)) -- Stephanie Zvirin
  • PreS-Gr 3-To save himself from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake, an enterprising mouse declares that he is having lunch with a monster whose favorite food just happens to be the animal who is at that moment threatening him. With each telling, the gruffalo becomes more menacing until all of the rodent's tormentors leave him unharmed. The mouse scoffs at them, for everyone knows "There's no such thing as a gruffal...." But a turn of the page reveals-you guessed it-a gruffalo, that thinks the mouse will "...taste good on a slice of bread." Undaunted, the rodent devises a plan to frighten the monster off. Young readers will love the humor in this preposterous story of a trick that backfires and the way the protagonist talks himself out of his difficulties. Best of all, they will relish being in on the joke as they join in the reading of the delightfully repetitious rhyming text. Scheffler's cartoonlike illustrations, rendered in watercolor, colored pencils, and ink, are large and well paced. Facial expressions contrast the animals' alarm with the jaunty nonchalance of the mouse. The double-page spread that reveals the gruffalo-terrible claws, black tongue, poisonous wart, purple prickles, and all-is just scary enough to tickle but not frighten youngsters. Serve this one for a rollicking good time.-Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community-Technical College, CT Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
  • The eponymous character introduced by this British team owes a large debt to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. When Mouse meets Fox in the "deep dark wood," he invents a story about the gruffalo, described very much like Sendak's fearsome quartet of wild things--"He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws." The gullible fox runs away when Mouse tells him that the gruffalo's favorite food is roasted fox. "Silly old Fox!" says Mouse, "Doesn't he know?/ There's no such thing as a gruffalo!" Owl and Snake follow suit until, with a turn of the page, Mouse runs into the creature he has imagined. Quick-thinking Mouse then tells the monster, "I'm the scariest creature in this deep dark wood./ Just walk behind me and soon you'll see,/ Everyone for miles is afraid of me." Fox, Owl and Snake appear to be terrified of the tiny mouse, but readers can plainly see the real object of their fears. By story's end, the gruffalo flees, and Mouse enjoys his nut lunch in peace. Despite the derivative plot line, debut author Donaldson manipulates the repetitive language and rhymes to good advantage, supplying her story with plenty of scary-but-not-too-scary moments. Scheffler's gruffalo may seem a goofy hybrid of Max's wild things, but his cartoonlike illustrations build suspense via spot-art previews of the monster's orange eyes, black tongue and purple prickles until the monster's appearance in full. Ages 4-8. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
  • The action of this rhymed and humorous tale centers upon a mouse who "took a stroll/through the deep dark wood./A fox saw the mouse/and the mouse looked good." The mouse escapes being eaten by telling the fox that he is on his way to meet his friend the gruffalo (a monster of his imagination), whose favorite food is roasted fox. The fox beats a hasty retreat. Similar escapes are in store for an owl and a snake; both hightail it when they learn the particulars: tusks, claws, terrible jaws, eyes orange, tongue black, purple prickles on its back. When the gruffalo suddenly materializes out of the mouse's head and into the forest, the mouse has to think quick, declaring himself inedible as the "scariest creature in the deep dark wood," and inviting the gruffalo to follow him to witness the effect he has on the other creatures. When the gruffalo hears that the mouse's favorite food is gruffalo crumble, he runs away. It's a fairly innocuous tale, with twists that aren't sharp enough and treachery that has no punch. Scheffler's funny scenes prevent the suspense from culminating; all his creatures, predator and prey, are downright lovable. (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 1999)
Awards note
1999 Smarties Book Prize Gold Winner.
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
117397
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Donaldson, Julia
Dewey number
[E]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
Intended audience
200
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ8.3.D7235
LC item number
Gr 1999
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • -1
  • 3
PerformerNote
Pictures by Alex Scheffler
Reading level
2.3.
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Scheffler, Axel
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mice
  • Animals
  • Mice
  • Animals
  • Stories in rhyme
  • Animals
  • Mice
Target audience
primary
Label
The gruffalo, Julia Donaldson ; pictures by Axel Scheffler
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocm39678049
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780425287941
Lccn
98033893
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
(OCoLC)39678049
Label
The gruffalo, Julia Donaldson ; pictures by Axel Scheffler
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocm39678049
Dimensions
28 cm
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
1 volume (unpaged)
Isbn
9780425287941
Lccn
98033893
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
color illustrations
Specific material designation
regular print
System control number
(OCoLC)39678049

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