Even when little Miss A was just a tiny tot, she already had a strong personality. She insisted on doing everything herself and could be as stubborn as both her father and I combined (which is saying a lot). We should have expected it; after all, what little hair she was born with was red.
So, when browsing in a bookstore one day I came across the story of The Gruffalo’s Child by Julia Donaldson (illustrated by Axel Scheffler), I knew I had to get it for her. I remember bringing it home and excitedly showing the book to my husband, who wasn’t nearly as thrilled as I was. Apparently he thought the gruffalo’s child would be a boy. He read it to her that night anyway, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the story was about an adventurous female gruffalo child, with a personality similar to that of our own little Miss A. They both fell in love with the story. Every child will enjoy accompanying the gruffalo’s child on her adventure through the deep dark woods, but the story also manages to appeal to parents. Each animal that the gruffalo’s child meets on her quest to find the big bad mouse is introduced in a way that will keep children’s attention throughout the story, while the rhyme and repetition are perfect for little ones who love to chime in. Parents will enjoy the twist the story takes at the end, courtesy of the ever resourceful big bad mouse.
The Gruffalo’s Child became a regular bedtime story favourite, to the point where Miss A could ‘read’ it herself. So you can imagine her excitement when we found The Gruffalo (also by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler) at our local public library. The story of the gruffalo child’s father made The Gruffalo’s Child even more endearing. And then, last night, my husband discovered that the BBC aired animated versions of both The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, whose star-studded cast includes Helena Bonham Carter as the narrator and Shirley Henderson (you may know her as Moaning Myrtle) as the voice of the gruffalo’s child. The Gruffalo was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Film (animated) in 2011, and a BAFTA in 2010. Yes, it’s that good. You can see a sneak peek here.
I can’t wait to watch it with Miss A.
P.S. In case that wasn’t enough Gruffalo for you, you can visit the official website here.