My children think this series is hysterical and I am totally with them. The humor is smart, without going over their heads or dipping into the scatological for cheap laughs.
More conversation than narrative, this charming book poses all manner of questions worth pondering. Would you rather…tickle a monkey or dance with goats? The more harrowing questions, like Would you rather be… swallowed by a fish or sat on by a rhinoceros? are tempered by Burningham’s wonderfully silly drawings.
A clever mouse “takes a stroll through the deep dark wood” where it seems every animal he encounters wants to eat him. He outwits them all by inventing a monstrous creature call a gruffalo that he claims is meeting him for lunch. He tells the snake, “…his favorite food is scrambled snake.” This news sends each predator running for their lives and the mouse walks on unscathed until…he meets a real live gruffalo!
A rolicking, effortlessly rhymed, joy to read. Utterly entertaining, appropriately suspenseful, with the affable, whip-smart hero coming out on top in the end. The art is delightful, with the gruffalo rendered just as the mouse had described.