Over the past five years of parenting I have learned a few things. The biggest learning has been that the more you learn about parenting, the more you realize how little you know. Another big lesson is that even though you may find something you think your child should absolutely love, it doesn’t mean they will, even if you really, really want them to.
I picked up The Gruffalo when my first kiddo was still teeny tiny and I was on a mission to build her a library. I was visiting a book store and asked the store clerk for a recommendation. She immediately suggested The Gruffalo, saying her 3-year-old asked for the story every night.
The Gruffalo is a modern classic children’s story. It’s playful rhymes follow the path of a little mouse who is approached by predators in the woods and defends himself cleverly by making up a date with a terrible Gruffalo. All is well, until the imaginary Gruffalo shows up!
I excitedly read this beautifully illustrated, artfully written book to my daughter, and was enthralled with it right away. This was a book I loved even as an adult. It was smart, it was fun, it was clever, it was cool!
Her reaction? Meh. It’s okay.
I couldn’t believe it, refused to believe that she could be unmoved by the obvious mastery of this lovely story. So I continued reading The Gruffalo to her over the years, and have now worn her down quite a bit. She now giggles when I act out The Gruffalo’s prickles on her back, or suggest she has a poisonous wart at the end of her nose. She likes it. She just doesn’t love it like I do.
Never mind though, I think she will remember our times with The Gruffalo fondly later, and I have kid #2 as a hope still. Kid #1has not been totally immune to the charms of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. She adores Room on the Broom. (Phew!)
The best part is the fox and mom pretending I’m The Gruffalo.
The best part is, everything. This is a perfect children’s story, charming, fun, and a shining example of why it’s important to believe in yourself, and dare I say it, to give the world a little cheek when the odds are against you.
We rate it:
Three thumbs up out of four, but two of them are super enthusiastic. It’s more likely than not that your kid will love this book.
Buy it or borrow it from the library:
Buy it! Get it at your local bookstore, or online here. It’s a keeper.