e has terrible tusks, and t e r r i b l e c l aw s , a n d t e r - rible teeth in his terrible jaws.” That’s Gruffalo for those who may not have young children at home. The Gruffalo series of books has never been too far away from the bedside of 3-to-5-year-old children in recent times. They have sold over 13.5 million copies in over 70 languages.
Gruffalo’s creator Julia Donaldson is now the best-selling author of children’s books in the UK, six years in a row, ahead even of the Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling. In January 2017 Donaldson will be in Hong Kong for a show based on the Gruffalo series. The play was a sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 and Stratford, Oxford and Bristol in 2016. Donaldson, who used to be a travelling musician when she was younger, will be a part of the fivemember, all-British cast on stage.
The story is about a cunning mouse who goes strolling deep inside a dark wood. On the way she is met with a succession of hungry predators — owl, snake and fox. She however manages to scare them all away by claiming she has a friend, a terrifying-looking monster called Gruffalo.
“I think the character is popular in so many countries and regions because perhaps it has a universal story — the story about how a small, physically weak creature could use her brains to defeat much stronger animals,” said Donaldson.
The prolific children’s book author has published around 200 titles, including MonkeyPuzzle, RoomontheBroom,The SmartestGiantinTown theWhale.
“I would not write a story as a lesson, to teach children. But a good story normally does have a message,” said Donaldson. “When you write a story, of course it’s not just about adventures. When you have some moral principles somehow it would come out in the story. Many of my stories are about sharing and being generous to other people.”
Gruffalo’s young fans in Hong Kong are eagerly awaiting the show to arrive in the city. Darcy Goulston, a 9-year-old, said she liked the book because the mouse was “comedian evil”. Another kid, Harry Suen, also 9, said he simply liked the creature because of “the purple pickles all over his back”. TheSnailand
Now young Darcy is waiting for the moment when “you see the story of Gruffalo played on stage and you see it running in front of your face and it’s just amazing”.
I am waiting for the moment ... when you see it running in front of your face and it’s just amazing.” I would not write a story as a lesson, to teach children. But a good story normally does have a message.” I simply like the creature because of the purple pickles all over his back.”
Darcy Goulston, Gruffalo fan Gruffalo writer Julia Donaldson will be a part of the all-British cast performing her story in Hong Kong in January. Julia Donaldson, writer, Gruffalo series Harry Suen, Gruffalo fan