In keeping with the spirit of not reading the books ahead of time, I was unaware of the plot before reading The Gruffalo to Tobes. I need to once again compliment Axel Scheffler on the amazing illustrations as they helped to keep everyone focused on the page.
I think I may have mis-judged the book though as there’s a lot of text and for a child under one it probably took too long to read. In case that was mis-understood I am referring to me reading it to a child under one, rather than me expecting a child under one to read it themselves. Obviously if a child under one can read, they’ve already moved on to the classics like Dickens and Bronte.
I love the way that Julia Donaldson writes, making it easy for me as a reader to pause and emphasize the words that rhyme, helping to keep the story moving along and the restless child interested.
Having never read the book, not seen the tv series or films I was surprised to discover that the star of the book is not actually The Gruffalo, who only arrives half-way through, but the mouse who’s on a walk looking for food. With the chutzpah of a future politician, he weaves stories so obviously false its astonishing that the other animals believe him. That is of course until the “alternative facts” became truth, and he is faced with the nightmare before him of a real-life Gruffalo. Rather than running away he instead doubles down on his lies and uses the Gruffalo to ensure he can safely leave the woods.
I’m going to try not to dig deeper looking for analogies and metaphors, instead I’m going to enjoy the story for what it is and keep it in the circulation pile for future reading. I look forward to the day when I don’t even have to tell my nephew what’s coming, as he will know and will tell me loudly before I get there, “Oh Help! Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo!”