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The Gruffalo

Last updated Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Axel Scheffler
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0803731094
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: May 2015

Synopsis: A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What kind of animal do you think this is? Have you ever seen one?
•  What do you think a Gruffalo really is?
•  Underground-located or occurring below the surface of the earth.
•  Tusk-a very long, large tooth that sticks out of the mouth of an animal
•  Roasted-to cook over a fire
•  Frightfully-in a shocking way
•  Prickles-one of usually many stiff, sharp points
•  Treetop-the highest part of a tree
•  Poisonous-containing poison
•  Astounding-causing a feeling of great surprise or wonder
•  Knobbly-covered with small bumps

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever taken a walk through the woods?
•  What's the first animal the mouse meets?
•  What do you think foxes eat?
•  What's the second animal the mouse meets?
•  What sound does an owl make?
•  What's the third animal the mouse meets?
•  What sound does the snake make?
•  How do the animals react when the mouse tells them he's having lunch with a Gruffalo?
•  What other animals do you see in the book?
•  Does the Gruffalo turn out to be real? Have you ever seen one?
•  How does the mouse scare the Gruffalo away?

Craft ideas:
•  Draw an outline of a Gruffalo and use construction paper to cut out and paste on it's characteristics (mouth, spines, tusks, teeth, eyes, etc.)
•  Make a Mother's Day card.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!