The Gruffalo

Board Book
Rhyming Stories

"A mouse took a stroll through a deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good."

 Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when the quick thinking mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake and a hungry gruffalo...


The Gruffalo has sold over 10.5 million copies, has won several prizes for children's literature, and has been developed into plays on both the West End and Broadway.

The Gruffalo was initially published in 1999 in the United Kingdom by Macmillan Children's Books as a 32-page hardback edition, was followed six months later by a paperback edition, and subsequently by a small-format board book edition.



The eponymous character introduced by this British team owes a large debt to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. When Mouse meets Fox in the "deep dark wood," he invents a story about the gruffalo, described very much like Sendak's fearsome quartet of wild things"He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws." The gullible fox runs away when Mouse tells him that the gruffalo's favorite food is roasted fox. "Silly old Fox!" says Mouse, "Doesn't he know?/ There's no such thing as a gruffalo!" Owl and Snake follow suit until, with a turn of the page, Mouse runs into the creature he has imagined. Quick-thinking Mouse then tells the monster, "I'm the scariest creature in this deep dark wood./ Just walk behind me and soon you'll see,/ Everyone for miles is afraid of me." Fox, Owl and Snake appear to be terrified of the tiny mouse, but readers can plainly see the real object of their fears. By story's end, the gruffalo flees, and Mouse enjoys his nut lunch in peace.... from Publishers Weekly

Related titles by Theme

Average rating

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Comments (2)

Very engaging and entertaining. Love this book, and many more by the very talented author Julia Donaldson. 


If I had a dollar for every time I've read this book to my kids, I'd be rich! My nearly-2-year-old is currently obsessed with The Gruffalo, and I've just about got it memorised word for word so that I can recite it in the car or while changing a nappy just to keep him happy. I'm not sure exactly what it is that he likes about it, but for me, it's the charming illustrations, the ingenious mouse and the fun-to-read, rhyming verse. My kids both like it when I get to certain parts of the story and tickle their "knobbly" knees, their "turned out" toes, the "poisonous wart" on the end of their nose, and of course the "purple prickles" all over their backs. I can't recommend this book highly enough, every household with young children should have a copy. I'm inspired by this book to attempt to make a Gruffalo birthday cake for my son's 2nd birthday in a few months - I'll be posting pictures on the Little Big Book Club facebook wall if it's a success!