Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Gruffalo... at Garden World

The story of The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson has long been a favourite story to share in our house.  Little Man often chooses it to be read at bedtime and Little Lady usually casually joins us - just for a cuddle of course because she feels she is too old for such a story now - although I firmly believe you're never too old for the Gruffalo!!

I've loved the gentle nature and rhythm of this author's writing for some time and would choose any of her stories to read to my children at the end of the day.  Whilst I was looking at information in putting this post together I was interested to read that the book has won many awards, including the Nestle Smarties prize and the Blue Peter Award for the Best Book to Read Aloud - and in 2009 was voted the UK's favourite bedtime story!  That really demonstrates how much it's LoVED by so many children and parents alike!

This winter there was a wonderful Gruffalo exhibition at the entrance to the local Garden Centre and it felt magically appropriate to share here. The display managed to encapture the simple beauty of this book and in my opinion, the adults enjoyed it just as much as the children.

Of course the story starts with a mouse who takes a stroll through the deep, dark wood...

...then the fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good...

In the story, as the mouse walked further through the wood the Owl saw the mouse...

The Owl was fantastic in that children (or adults alike) could push a button to start some 'animatronics' - the Owl moved its wings and its head and continued to tell the story in the most wonderfully gentle manner.  All that witnessed it were completely spell bound.

As he continued on his journey, the mouse turned down an offer from the snake to have tea in his log pile house...

...because after all, the mouse was having a feast with the Gruffalo!

During peak times the Gruffalo was able to stroll around (with help from a staff member of course) and this enormous cuddly lay in a den to rest once it had done enough walking!  

Billy's first World Book day dress up outfit was a homemade Gruffalo costume - which I failed to get a picture of that morning.  I remembered it when writing this post and I asked him to put it on again - so obligingly, he did.  I'm glad I've got the opportunity to picture the gorgeousness of my Gruffalo.  It is a tad small for him now but I think he still looks cute.

I remember he decided on the Gruffalo very late - I cut up an old throw from the lounge and used some felt, a purple towel, buttons and funky foam to add the full characteristics on a zero budget!!  Such a lovely memory.  I don't think I shall ever out grow the story or 'give up' the book!

Do you have a favourite character that pulls at your heart strings...or prompts memories of quiet, snuggles with loved ones?  I just wish I could freeze my littlies in time as they are growing so fast.  I must make a conscious effort to be fully present in each moment and savour each precious passing of their childhood.  In so doing I'll be sure to make memories to last a lifetime.

J9 x


  1. My boys always enjoyed the Alfie books by Shirley Williams, they still have the books on the bookcases in their bedrooms even though they are to old for them now. Lovely stories they were too!

  2. They're really popular stories in our house too. The costume is fab!! Sarah xo

  3. I haven't read this book but I think everyone in this house would enjoy it. :)

  4. Love the idea of the gruffalo exhibition!! It looks as though it was lots of fun. I love the gruffalo and think that your little ones costume is brilliant and evokes lots of love from you!! xx

  5. Awesome read. I just passed this onto a buddy who was doing a little research on that. He just bought me lunch since I found it for him! Thus let me rephrase: Thanx for lunch!
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