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A DVD of the short film adaptation

The Gruffalo's Child
is a picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. It was published in 2004. It is the sequel to Donaldson and Scheffler's original best-selling picture book The Gruffalo. As with The Gruffalo, the book is written in rhyming couplets, with much repetition. A half-hour long animation of the book was broadcast as one of the BBC's 2011 Christmas specials.

The story begins with the Gruffalo trying to dissuade his inquisitive daughter from straying too far away from their home. He resorts to telling her tales of his encounter with the Big Bad Mouse in the deep dark wood. Instead of warning her off, it has the exact opposite effect, spurring her on to sneak off and investigate. Putting her fear aside, she steps out into the night. Accompanied by her favourite toy, Stickman, she braves the snowstorm in the hope of catching a glimpse of this fantastical creature...

Reader's Reviews


This is a firm favourite in our house, an absolute joy to read aloud. The rhyming couplets bounce along, the language is rich and lyrical. The script is just begging to be performed; great fun is to be had in voicing the characters – in our house Leslie Phillips is Snake, Maggie Smith is Owl and Peter Bowles is Fox (well, in my head at least!). The captivating and humorous detail in the illustrations is spot on, sparking many a conversation when the tale is done.

The story builds upon expectation, and the tension and trepidation is palpable. I love that the Gruffalo characters are a little girl and her dad, giving us a slightly different take on things. I also love that the protagonist is not actually the same one as in the prequel; although we start out on the adventure with the Gruffalo’s Child, the twist near the end means that of course we are rooting for the mouse in his pursuit to stay uneaten!

Suitable for reading aloud to EYFS and KS1, and independent readers up to KS2, this wonderful book is a springboard for so many activities in the classroom – drama and dance (naturally), music (noises to represent the characters, the story as the score), creative writing (poetry, descriptive writing), PSHE (emotions, relationships), art (fantastical beasts), science (habitats) – the list is endless! But most importantly, this is a book for pure pleasure – the pleasure of reading, and the pleasure of being read to.


I love the gruffalo child becase the child bealives in his selfs.

The Gruffalo’s child

The Gruffalo’s child was written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This book is one that can be enjoyed by children in lower primary. It is easy to read and can be animated. For example scratching your head. The book shows a young girl with her dad, which is different to the stereotypical view of a child and their mother. The young girl decides to go on an adventure, despite her dad’s disagreement, through the woods to look for a specific animal but comes across a variety of different ones on the way. It describes the other animals clearly and the illustrations portray exactly what the description says. It is a joy to read.

The author uses repetition throughout the book. This could be used to get the children involved as your reading. It also uses rhyme which makes the story bounce along and flow nicely. The illustrations are useful for foundation stage as they can describe what is happening in the pictures as well as what may happen next.

This book can be used for a variety of different activities such as reading aloud in class. The children could take on all the different roles and would therefore have to recognise when it is their turn to speak. It could also be used for introducing the different types of animals you may find in the woods.

Techniques used: This book follows a similar style to The Gruffalo with rhyming, repitition and alliteration. There is also an extensive use of similes, adjectives and adverbs.

Use in the Classroom: This book would be useful in Key Stage Two in literacy for giving examples of rhyming, similes and alliteration. For example, "He carries a nut as big as a boulder". Also an excellent book to use in younder years to encourage the love of reading.

3 Ok. I am WAYYY to old for this book. But I find it seriously interesting. There is room for many things. And in the end there are actually many conspiracy theories. One question I have been asking since I was in Year 1 is Was The Big Bad Mouse Real? As it never fully explains whether it is or isn't.

It quite clearly states that the child does not believe in it but that doesn't mean its not real. I'm beginning to think if she went further into the woods she might of found it.

The only thing that held her back was the mouse from the original. If she went forth maybe she would have seen The Mouse and ran home.

Anyway these are the kind of questions that the book gives you. (Also a reply would be very good XD)

So yeah. For a kid's book I have to say the atmosphere is pretty dramatic. And adults can enjoy it to because while the text is like a kid's book the plot itself is quite the type for grown ups.

I highly advise you get ur kid this book as I was addicted to it many years ago.

The Gruffalo's Child

It has been said that the Gruffalo's child would be suited to KS2 for examples of rhyming techniques, metaphoric language and similies but it also strikes on a more basic level for even younger children. Ultimately the story is of the exploration of a young child in defiance of the warnings of her father and whilst children will identify with the child they will also identify with the security aspects of the love of the parent. The story can be read to Foundation/Reception stage as they will be the most familiar with it and the identification with the child is evident in this class group. They are exploring for the first time - like the child, they are meeting new people - like the child and they are returning to the security of their homes after a big adventure - like the child.

There is also another aspect to the story which is not commented on often which is the relationship of the father and daughter. It may be stretching a point to suggest that this is a single parent family, especially with the father as the sole parent, but the daughter does seek the protection of her father once she snuggles back in the cave next to him. This relationship may strike a chord with some children especially if a father is not as heavily involved in reading to them or absent altogether.


‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ by Julia Donaldson

Donaldson, J., (2004). The Gruffalo’s Child’. Macmillan Children’s Books. Basingstoke and Oxford.

             Julia Donaldson’s book, ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ is a wonderful and exciting sequel to ‘The Gruffalo’, introducing a new character, the gruffalo’s child. She creates an exciting and imaginative story which is accessible for young children to understand. The vivid and descriptive language used throughout the story appeals to the imagination, and also enhances the sense of wonder and excitement that continues throughout the book. There are beautiful pictures on every page which effectively illustrate the description being conveyed in the test. Close attention to detail is found in both the description of the scene and in its illustration.

            ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ explores the tale of the child who, against his father’s advice, goes exploring in the woods one night to find ‘the big bad mouse’. By the end of the story, the reader finds out that not everything is as it initially appeared to be and that the things we are told are scary, may not always be the case. The theme of exploring is emphasised throughout this tale, as Julia Donaldson describes each stage of the Gruffalo child’s discovery as it happens. This element of discovery can act as a scaffold to children, encouraging them to find evidence, and then think about where it could have come from. The use of dialogue throughout the story can help children to vocalise and describe what they have found. She also incorporates an effective use of rhyme and onomatopoeia throughout the text.  

            I would recommend ‘The Gruffalo’s Child’ to parents and teachers of foundation and key stage 1 children. This is a beautifully told story about adventure and discovery and can be effectively used in the classroom, and there is additional support material available.

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 4+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 3+


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