Julia Donaldson Gruffalo Collection 13 Books Set (Gruffalo, Highway Rat, Stick Man, Tabby MacTat, One Mole, Hippo Has A Hat, Chocolate Mousse For Greedy Goose, Rosie's Hat, One Ted, Night Monkey Day Monkey, Toddle Waddle, Wriggle and Roar, Cave Baby) (Gruffalo Collection)
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In an article titled "Humour and the locus of control in 'The Gruffalo'", Betsie van der Westhuizen identifies the following types of humour used in The Gruffalo: "humour with regard to the narrative aspects, humour with regard to the poetic aspects, visual humour and humour and the performing arts".  She writes that the most common use of humour in the story is incongruity, arising from the sense that "everything is not as it should be".  Some examples include the mouse averting the predators and the unusual descriptions of food, such as "owl ice cream" and "scrambled snake".  She writes that there are different experiences of humour among different ages of children who read The Gruffalo: three to five year olds will appreciate the elements of surprise and repetition in the story; six to eight year olds will enjoy the rhyme and rhythm of the text and the story's hyperbole.  As for visual representations of humour, van der Westhuizen writes that an example occurs when the mouse scares away the snake, accompanied by fragmented images of the imaginary gruffalo's features, then immediately afterwards comes across the real Gruffalo.  Stone, Brittany A. (2012). "Learning the Language of Power: An Analysis of Linguistic Savvy in Picture Books". Southern Journal of Linguistics. 36 (2): 66–79. Flood, Alison (25 October 2016). "Gruffalo gets gallus makeover in Glaswegian translation". The Guardian . Retrieved 24 September 2022.
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a b c Franklin-Wallis, Oliver (17 December 2020). "How Julia Donaldson conquered the world, one rhyme at a time". The Guardian . Retrieved 24 September 2022. Donaldson has said that the story of The Gruffalo was inspired by a Chinese folk tale known as "The Fox that Borrows the Terror of a Tiger"   (狐假虎威 ).The folk tale is about a hungry tiger who tries to catch a fox. The fox is clever and tells the tiger that God has made the fox king of all animals. Whilst accompanying the fox, the tiger notices that other animals run away in fear. Not realising that they are actually running away from the tiger, the tiger believes that fox is indeed a feared king.  Donaldson was originally going to have the beast in her book be a tiger, but was unable to think of rhymes for "tiger" so instead invented a new word—"gruffalo". The Gruffalo is a short children's story around 700 words long.  It is intended to be read aloud as it is written for a target audience of children who do not know or are learning how to read.  It is written in rhyming couplets in primarily dactylic tetrameter. This is a relatively uncommon metre, consisting of one stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables, for instance:  Come Creasy, Matthew (7 August 2015). "How to write a children's classic: the Gruffalo formula". The Conversation.
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When writing the story, Donaldson did not have an exact vision of what the Gruffalo would look like. She said that she imagined he would be "more weird and less furry" than Scheffler's final illustrations.  She read the story in schools prior to the book being published and invited the children to draw the Gruffalo, which resulted in creatures which she described as looking "more like aliens and less like cuddly animals".  In early sketches for the book, the Gruffalo was depicted as being humanoid, troll-like, and wearing a T-shirt and trousers. The book's editor, Alison Green, said that they instead decided that the Gruffalo would look more like a woodland creature and predator, and Donaldson said the resulting illustration is "more natural looking".   Scheffler's depiction of the creature relied on the physical descriptions within the text with along with features which aren't mentioned, such as a pair of bovine horns. He created a version of the character which is cuddly and furry but still scary.  Donaldson describes the Gruffalo's appearance as a "mixture of scary but stupid".  Burke writes that the image of the Gruffalo has become "iconic".  The Gruffalo is set in a forest. Scheffler was inspired by the forests in Hamburg when drawing rough initial sketches for the book.  The setting contains a footpath, stream, lake, mushrooms and other wildlife.  He depicts the "deep dark wood" with deep green and brown tones and dark outlines.  The darkness of the hues add to the feeling of suspense when reading the story.  Burke writes that the trees and tree roots are "reminiscent of the Gruffalo itself, it is as if the forest has in part spawned the creature, and they serve in the story to foreshadow what is to come".  Throughout the book, the setting doesn't change—the illustrations at the end of the book are a mirror image of the forest at the beginning.  Publication history [ edit ] Illustrator Axel Scheffler (left) and Julia Donaldson (right) have collaborated on over 20 best-selling books together. Burke, Michael (2022). "Language and style in The Gruffalo". Language and Literature. 31 (1): 41–61. doi: 10.1177/09639470211072162. S2CID 246372502.But one wild and windy night the Gruffalo's child disobeys her father's warnings and ventures ... Read more a b c Sweet, Matthew (4 September 2004). "We've Created a Monster". The Independent . Retrieved 21 August 2022. Mice often feature as the main character in stories for children, and one key characteristic of the animal in this context is humour.   Both Ghassan Fadhil Radhi and van der Westhuizen write that children relate to the character of the mouse who triumphs in difficult situations, along with the humour that is a key element of many mouse stories.   Chinese folk tale [ edit ]