The Gruffalo

is a children's book by writer and playwright Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, that tells the story of a mouse's walk in the woods. The book 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's Child

by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is the bestselling sequel to The Gruffalo.

The story is about the Gruffalo's child (a daughter) who, despite her father's warning, sets off into the 'deep dark wood' to find the 'big bad mouse', the only thing her father is afraid of.

During her winter journey, she encounters the tracks of snake, owl, and fox from The Gruffalo, each of whom she first suspects to be the 'big bad mouse,' but who in turn tell her where she can find the real 'big bad mouse'. Eventually, concluding she has been tricked by the animals (and perhaps her father), she sadly admits that she "doesn't believe in the 'big bad mouse'".

At this point, she encounters the little mouse from The Gruffalo, who previously tricked her father. The mouse invites her to meet the 'big bad mouse', which he re-creates by using moonlight to project a tremendously enlarged, fearsome shadow. Believing the shadow to belong to the real 'big bad mouse', the Gruffalo's child flees and returns to the Gruffalo cave with faith in her father restored.

The story repeats the 'brains over brawn' theme, creatures, and easily flowing rhyme scheme (tetrameter) of its predecessor, The Gruffalo.