We were on a Julia Donaldson-esque ‘high’. First we were hooked on to the Paper Dolls and now the Gruffalo! I am a big (and I mean BIG) fan of the book! For years I passed by it in book stores but never really picked it up, but when I finally did (thanks to the daughter’s school library), there was no looking back. The book has sold over 13 million (yes, 13 MILLION) copies since its initial release in 1999 and has been adapted into West End and Broadway plays. (Something I would DEFINITELY wanna go watch if I had a chance).

As I said, I was introduced to Donaldson pretty late in the day. The book is targeted towards 3-7 year olds and I am so glad I finally discovered it before my daughter crossed that age. (Phew!)

The book (for the few ignorant ones like me) is fun, imaginative, has cutesy illustrations and is written in lively verse- what’s not to love? Needless to say, instant hit with the girls.

So I read it out to them and then this is what we did: I got a print out of a Gruffalo coloring page and stuck it to the wall. Since the book is rich in descriptions of the Gruffalo’s physical features, I printed out small tabs with different body parts on some and their corresponding adjectives on others. (E.g. The Gruffalo has ‘knobbly/knees’ and ‘turned out/toes’.)


Each kid had to rummage through the pile of paper tabs and first find a body part (in this case- knees) and then rack their memories to find out what goes with it (in this case- knobbly). She then had to fish out the complete phrase and stick the tabs on the Gruffalo on the wall. So we had ‘Orange Eyes’, ‘Terrible Tusks’, ‘Poisonous Wart’ and so on.


Next I asked them to fish out phrases that go with the other animals in the book. For instance, the kid had to look for ‘owl’ and ‘ice-cream’ from the mixed up pile of tabs and stick the complete phrase ‘owl ice cream’ next to the picture of the owl! (And so we had ‘Scrambled/snake, Roasted/fox’, etc.)


Lastly, as an art extension activity, I gave them a step by step tutorial on how to draw a fox, a snake and an owl.


All in all, a fun day! Alhamdulilah!


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