Ok, so it’s not my first Gruffalo. In fact, I have every version of the Gruffalo and even my very own Gruff that watches over me at night…seriously his eyes glow orange.
This fantastic new book is the latest in the play and learn series from The Gruffalo franchise. We all know how it goes…
“he has terrible tusks, and terrible claws
and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.
He has knobbly knees, and turned out toes
and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose.
His eyes are orange, his tongue is black…
and he has purple prickles all over his back.
Oh help, oh no it’s a Gruffalo.”
Do you know it by heart?
This fantastic new book teaches all the key elements of the rhyming story whilst introducing the touch-and-feel books. Other than the buggy book, this is the first Gruffalo story you should introduce to your child before moving on to the full story in a board or paperback picture book. It gives the jist of Donaldson’s story and children can remember the distinctive poisonous wart through the sticky feeling they get when they touched it in the book (I admit, I did touch the wart. I’m now expecting one to spring up on me anytime now-eek!).
The Gruffalo books aren’t just any oldpicture book…they teach so much more. If we think to what Janet and Allan Ahlberg taught us with ‘The Baby Catalogue’ and ‘Each Peach, Pear, Plum’; The Gruffalo is up there in the play and learn accolade hall of fame. The story in itself is full of character and charm and a real message of bravery. The illustrations by Axel Scheffler are so incredibly visual. It’s rare that a children’s illustrator can engage with the page and story so much. There’s a lot to the Gruffalo and a lot to remember but it’s a guarantee that if you ask a child to tell you about him, they will tell you in great (and accurate) detail.
And so this new book for even littler ones helps them along the way in learning all about the big bad Gruffalo and the ever so clever little mouse. And I must say, the Gruffalo is sporting a serious Elvis DO with his touch-and-feel tuft of hair on the front cover!
My First Gruffalo: Touch and Feel
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Macmillan Children’s Books