The Gruffalo is an English original, written by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book has sold over 10.5 million copies, and has won several prizes for children's literature. Gruffalo was based on a Chinese folktale, The Fox and The Tiger, where the fox "borrowed" the terror of the tiger (the story behind 成语 - 狐假虎威). This is the Chinese translated version.
The protagonist of The Gruffalo is a mouse - a very witty one.
On his way, the mouse encounters several dangerous animals (a fox, an owl and a snake). Each of these animals, clearly intending to eat the mouse, invites him back to their home for a meal. The clever mouse declines each offer. To dissuade further advances, he tells each animal that he has plans to dine with his friend, a gruffalo, a monster, which is a hybrid between a bear and a buffalo, whose favourite food happens to be the relevant animal, and describes the features of the gruffalo. Frightened that the gruffalo might eat it, each animal flees. Knowing the gruffalo to be fictional, the mouse gloats thus:
Silly old fox/owl/snake, doesn't he know?
there's no such thing as a gruffalo!
After getting rid of the last animal, the mouse is shocked to encounter a real gruffalo – with all the frightening features the mouse thought that he was inventing. The gruffalo threatens to eat the mouse, but again the mouse is cunning: he tells the gruffalo that he, the mouse, is the scariest animal in the forest. Laughing, the gruffalo agrees to follow the mouse as he demonstrates how feared he is. The two walk through the forest, encountering in turn the animals that had earlier menaced the mouse. Each is terrified by the sight of the pair and runs off – and each time the gruffalo becomes more impressed with the mouse's apparent toughness. Exploiting this, the mouse threatens to eat the gruffalo, which flees.
This book is available in soft cover, in simplified chinese with no hanyu pinyin. For reading to a child, this book may suit children of 4 years and above. For self read, we would recommend this book for children above 7.
For parents who are interested in the English version of this storybook, you can get it here.
- The Gruffalo (English) (Hard Cover)
- The Gruffalo (English) (Soft Cover)