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The Gruffalo (Picture Books)

A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Lexile Measure: AD200L (What's this?)

Series: Picture Books

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Dial Books (February 7, 2005)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0803731094

ISBN-13: 978-0803731097

Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,162 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #4,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #59 in Books > Children's Books > Holidays & Celebrations > Halloween #262 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary #391 in Books > Children's Books > Humor

Age Range: 3 - 7 years

Grade Level: Preschool - 2

A review of the hardcover edition applies to the softcover as well:The Gruffalo is a delightfully irreverent story about a mouse and an imaginary monster, sure to please grown-ups as well as children. This is a case where you CAN judge the book by its humorous cover, and you won't be disappointed. Axel Scheffler's brightly colored and too-silly-to-be-really-scary illustrations set the tone for this light-hearted romp through multiple layers of comic irony; and Julia Donaldson's marvelous doggerel perfectly realizes the mouse's sprightly character.It's much more than great fun, though. The Gruffalo also has tremendous resonance with familiar elements of Western culture. This is a story that Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, and Joseph Campbell all could love. It's a perfect little Hero's Journey: it's got "the deep dark wood," a confrontation with the Monster Within, and a victorious return to the ordinary world where a nut is good. Had this been a fable of Aesop, we could expect our hero to be eaten right in the middle, and we would be left with some such lesson as "Don't be too clever for your own good." Instead, our mythical mouse makes his Eternal Return bearing a subtle wisdom that echoes the teachings of the world's greatest mystics.The very structure of the story is classic, reminiscent of the great repetitive folk tales, such as "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," "The Three Little Pigs," or "The Little Red Hen." The mouse's encounter with a dangerous predator is repeated with slight variation in the wording three times (yes, three times, as in three crows of a cock, three days in the belly of the fish, three temptations under a bo tree...

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