Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler team up again to create this funny and adorable sequel to The Gruffalo. One night, the Gruffalo’s child wanders into the woods to search for the Big Bad Mouse. But instead, she comes upon a small mouse in the woods . . . and decides to eat him! But wait, what is that? A shadow of a very large, scary creature falls on the ground. Could it be the Big Bad Mouse after all?
Using a plot line and characters familiar to fans of The Gruffalo, this sequel introduces the appealing Gruffalo’s child, a wide-eyed, fuzzy gal with barely budding horns, who goes in search of the mythical Big Bad Mouse. The repetitious tag lines (‘Aha! Oho! A trail in the snow!/ Whose is this trail and where does it go?’) speed the plot along as the brave Gruffalo’s child decides that neither snake nor owl match her father’s description of the villain in question. Scheffler’s amiable depiction of the baby gruffalo in ‘the deep dark wood’ builds up plenty of empathy for the galumphing youngster, who finally meets the mouse hero of the first Gruffalo tale. From this point on readers’ sympathies and understanding of the story’s theme may be tugged in more than one direction as the amiable Gruffalo child reveals his monster nature and decides to gobble up the mouse for a midnight treat. Then the clever mouse tricks the baby and sends the frightened Gruffalo child scurrying back to papa, and it’s the mouse who follows the footprints (‘Aha! Oho!’) . They lead him to the cave where the Gruffalo’s child, ‘a bit less brave… [and] a bit less bored,’ snuggles in the protective arms of her father. Scheffler fills the illustrations with child-friendly images-the mouse’s Gruffalo snowman, and the furry female’s cave drawings-to make this Gruffalo child seem not very scary at all. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Susie Wilde – Children’s Literature
It is hard to duplicate a successful story with a sequel, and harder still if you are using rhyme, rhythm, and lots of parallels. Julia Donaldson (once again teamed up with Axel Scheffler) manages to brilliantly follow The Gruffalo with The Gruffalo’s Child. In the first book a clever little mouse outwits predators by dreaming up a monstrous Gruffalo. When a real Gruffalo appears, the fast-thinking hero confuses and gets the better off him, too. All this is combined with a blend of story, suspense, rhymes, refrains, humor, and surprises. Has the mouse met his match? Round two starts when the brave little Gruffalo’s daughter decides she will take on this mouse. Her father warns that his ‘eyes are like pools of terrible fire, and his terrible whiskers are tougher than wire.’ Similarities are evident in illustrations, story patterns, a returning cast of characters, tricky plot twists, and a repeatable chorus that makes for perfect transitions. Finally the Gruffalo’s child finds the mouse that looks small but ‘at least’ will ‘taste good as a midnight feast.’ The mouse, up to his usual sharpness, leaps to a tree branch where the moon light behind him creates a terrible shadow that falls on the ground, frightening the brave Gruffalo girl back into the cave and her father’s sleeping arms. 2005, Dial, Ages 3 to 7.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-In this sequel to The Gruffalo (Dial, 1999), the wide-eyed daughter of that story’s title character decides to find the ‘Big Bad Mouse’ that her father has told her so much about. ‘His eyes are like pools of terrible fire,/and his terrible whiskers are tougher than wire.’ With her stick doll tucked under her arm, the youngster enters the deep, dark woods and follows marks in the snow to snake, owl, and fox. When she finally finds a little mouse, she grabs him for a feast, but the clever creature tricks her into running away to the comfort of her sleeping father’s arms. The full-color cartoons portray a suitably sympathetic child in the snow-filled woods. While children may appreciate