World Read Aloud Day – The Gruffalo

Today is World Read Aloud Day so to celebrate (apart from actually reading aloud, obviously) here is a new blog post about one of my favourite books to read aloud.

The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler and published by Macmillan Children’s Books. This is a modern day classic, a truly brilliant children’s book. I have read it aloud so many times I know it off by heart and in fact recited it by heart over and over again on one long and stressful car to cheer up my very grumpy son.

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If by some chance you have been living under a rock and don’t know the premise of this book then here goes..  This is a story of a rather quick-witted mouse who scares off his would be predators by telling them of a made up, hungry monster, a Gruffalo. However, the mouse ventures deeper into the wood only to find out that the Gruffalo is not an imaginary creature after all! We follow the mouse as he uses all his wit and bravado to cleverly get himself out of this sticky situation.

This is such a lovely story for so many reasons, it shows how being small doesn’t mean you can’t be the hero, that what might seem frightening at first is maybe not as scary as it seems. It is written in a flawless rhyme that flows perfectly with plenty of repetition and opportunities for the younger reader to join in. Scheffler’s illustrations are bright and enticing, I love how expressive all the creatures faces are. The image of the Gruffalo is portrayed equally beautifully by both text and pictures which leads so easily into a range of great activities to do with little ones.

My husband took my bigger boy for a walk in the woods one day and they searched for the houses of each of the different animals. Such a brilliant and spontaneous activity that sparked his imagination as well as providing great opportunities for developing language skills.

Here’s owl’s treetop house…

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And fox’s underground house…

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I love reading this story out loud, I have a different accent or voice for each character, it is such a joy to read! I find myself getting so engrossed in the act of reading it aloud that it once prompted my bigger boy to stop me on the page where the Gruffalo is revealed and say “It’s ok Mummy, you know it’s not real?”

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Last year on World Book Day, my bigger boy’s nursery invited parents to come in to read to the children. I of course jumped at the chance and read The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, we also shared the photos of our Gruffalo hunt in the woods. I’m not sure who enjoyed it the most!

Happy reading aloud!

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