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AIBU to ask why The Gruffalo is so very popular?

(143 Posts)
octaviarose Mon 19-Nov-12 21:39:42

I don't really understand why the Gruffalo is so very popular as a children's book, please someone explain the enormous appeal.

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Mon 19-Nov-12 21:52:43

I struggle with some of her other books, like the Smartest Giant in town because when I talk, giraffe doesn't rhyme with scarf so it makes it sound odd and puts the rhythm out.

Shaky Mon 19-Nov-12 21:53:19

We love tabby mctat and room on the broom, they are brilliant.

Ds also loves Charlie Cooks Favourite Book

MousyMouse Mon 19-Nov-12 21:54:21

- because it has a lovely rhyme to it, not this horrible rhyme-you-or-I-will-eat-you kind of rhyme that is so common with children's books
- because it is a lovely story
- because the pictures are great

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:13

I adore JDs books, and so do my boys.

My 20 month old pretends to be The Gruffalo, sometimes when we are out and sometimes he just lurks in wait behind doors and springs out, roaring grin

They are lovely to read, not horrid and clunky like many. The stories are simple and appealing.

Love them all. I think Tiddler and Snail and the Whale are my favourites.

Bingdweller Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:51

We're loving The Highway Rat at the moment too. My 5 year old adores the illustrations, especially the Gruffalo biscuits at the end - the detail is lovely.

Sirzy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:55:57

the Gruffalo, like most of the other books of hers I have read is fantastic.

DS loves them!

Booboostoo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:56:04

I love the Gruffalo, DD's favourite is the Snail and the Whale smile

BertieBotts Germany Mon 19-Nov-12 21:56:09

I like it too, but I am also a bit underwhelmed by it.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 19-Nov-12 21:56:36

StickEm - I sing that book mostly, it works better. DS1 gets upset for poor George and his lack of trousers grin

HazelnutinCaramel Mon 19-Nov-12 21:57:11

Because it's clever, funny, original and well illustrated. Only comes second to the excellent What the Ladybird Heard.

When your heart doesn't sink at the prospect of reading a children's book for the fiftieth time, it must be good.

Sirzy Mon 19-Nov-12 21:57:18

BTW for JD lovers wanting to expand their collection you can normally get 10 of her books for about £10 from The Book People.

SkiBumMum Mon 19-Nov-12 21:57:44

Stick I'm with you on the rhyming. Definitely favour southern accents!

Follow the Swallow by JD is beautiful. Explains the seasons and migration so well.

LaCiccolina Mon 19-Nov-12 21:58:28

Have u read it?

Or just bought the merch (shite) that goes with it.

Try reading it. Might make more sense

gordyslovesheep Germany Mon 19-Nov-12 21:59:07

give em Not Now Bernard all day long

The Gruffalo is nice but samey

Because when you are on long boring car journeys you can spot Gruffalos in the woods.
I think my top three JD books are

1. Room On The Broom (can recite it at will)
2. The Gruffalo
3. Zog (for its feminist message smile)

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:59:30

and because the DVD is nice and calm with nice music and not flashy and annoying

mine loves the repitition

EcoLady Mon 19-Nov-12 22:02:59

I always struggle with "plant" and "can't" in Tyrannosaurus Drip.

Has no-one mentioned Monkey Puzzle yet? That was the first one that we discovered.

larks35 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:03:00

YABU to not understand why it is a brilliant book, if you have read it that is. I love all children's books that rhyme well without being laboured, DS enjoyed the rhythm and would bounce along when young and join in as his speech developed. The illustrations are absolutely brilliant too IMO. Julia Donaldson isn't the only children's writer to have accomplished this, DS and I also love Lynley Dodd books for the same reason.

marquesas Mon 19-Nov-12 22:03:23

I'm fairly neutral on the Gruffalo but I really don't "get" The Hungry Caterpillar - could someone explain that one to me. I think partly I don't like the illustrations at all but I think I must be missing something.

hazeyjane Mon 19-Nov-12 22:03:28

Has anyone mentioned that it is based on an ancient Chinese folk tale?!

<gruffalo trivia>

I think it is one of my least favourite of her books, but it is still better than a lot of children's books out there. My favourites are Tabby McTat and The Snail and The Whale (which always makes me cry)

mountains Mon 19-Nov-12 22:03:52

A major flaw of The Gruffalo IMO is that the kids who enjoy all the repetition and love the animals etc, are too young to understand the mouse's trick. Aren't they? Or is it just mine who had a limited theory of mind? It goes right over their head, that the Gruffalo was supposed to be made up, that it's funny when he appears, AND also that the Gruffalo is deceived into thinking the animals are all afraid of the mouse. No? I mean can a 2 year old get that? That's the target audience isn't it? Therefore it can't be that good... It's always bothered me! Love the writing and drawings though.

But then it's a dual purpose book - great rhyme and pictures for the children and a comical storyline for the adults.

exoticfruits Mon 19-Nov-12 22:07:52

I haven't come across a child who doesn't like it. I also love 'the hungry caterpillar'. They don't have to appeal to adults (although they often do)and I find that all DCs love it. Perhaps you are not very good at reading aloud.

I love the gruffalo and room on the broom. I like tyrannosaurus drip but don't think the illustrations in that are as kid friendly. I think the rhymes when you're reading appeal to children and make it fun to read.

OneHandWavingFree Mon 19-Nov-12 22:08:18

I like The Gruffalo, but prefer The Gruffalo's Child, which is, I think, the more engaging story. The only things I don't like about those books are the freaky human faces on AS's butterflies (shudder). The Gruffalo themselves are fabulous though, as are all the big-eyed animals.

Tabby McTat is our favourite, though. I like to challenge Dd to say "Socks and McTat had a cat-to-cat chat", which she can never manage before collapsing into giggles (she's 2.5). For that alone, JD will always hold a place in my affections smile

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