Julia Donaldson lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
PreS-Gr 2-In this sequel to The Gruffalo (Dial, 1999), the wide-eyed daughter of that story's title character decides to find the "Big Bad Mouse" that her father has told her so much about. "His eyes are like pools of terrible fire,/and his terrible whiskers are tougher than wire." With her stick doll tucked under her arm, the youngster enters the deep, dark woods and follows marks in the snow to snake, owl, and fox. When she finally finds a little mouse, she grabs him for a feast, but the clever creature tricks her into running away to the comfort of her sleeping father's arms. The full-color cartoons portray a suitably sympathetic child in the snow-filled woods. While children may appreciate the details (the stick doll, snake tracks in the snow, gruffalo child's cave drawings) in the art, lack of change from picture to picture and in perspective diminish its effectiveness. The plot, rhymes, and art are all slightly weaker than the original tale. Purchase this where the first book is popular.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Using a plot line and characters familiar to fans of The Gruffalo, this sequel introduces the appealing Gruffalo's child, a wide-eyed, fuzzy gal with barely budding horns, who goes in search of the mythical Big Bad Mouse. The repetitious tag lines ("Aha! Oho! A trail in the snow!/ Whose is this trail and where does it go?") speed the plot along as the brave Gruffalo's child decides that neither snake nor owl match her father's description of the villain in question. Scheffler's amiable depiction of the baby gruffalo in "the deep dark wood" builds up plenty of empathy for the galumphing youngster, who finally meets the mouse hero of the first Gruffalo tale. From this point on readers' sympathies and understanding of the story's theme may be tugged in more than one direction as the amiable Gruffalo child reveals his monster nature and decides to gobble up the mouse for a midnight treat. Then the clever mouse tricks the baby and sends the frightened Gruffalo child scurrying back to papa, and it's the mouse who follows the footprints ("Aha! Oho!") . They lead him to the cave where the Gruffalo's child, "a bit less brave... [and] a bit less bored," snuggles in the protective arms of her father. Scheffler fills the illustrations with child-friendly images-the mouse's Gruffalo snowman, and the furry female's cave drawings-to make this Gruffalo child seem not very scary at all. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.