The Gruffalo

Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

For ages 3 to 8

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This book is best for:
  • character description
  • identifying parts of objects
  • sequencing events
  • setting description


A very clever mouse takes a stroll through the deep dark forest. He encounters many dangerous animals along the way, so to scare them off he decides to invent a story about a frightening creature named the Gruffalo. Imagine his surprise when he meets a real Gruffalo!

The Gruffalo is a classic children’s book that is great fun to read aloud thanks to its short rhymes and repetitive structure. The colourful illustrations and exciting story plot will keep children interested to see how the clever mouse will outsmart his predators each time.

This book can be used to work on many speech and language goals. I love how the little mouse carefully describes each part of the Gruffalo, from his terrible claws to the poisonous wart at the end of his nose! The setting description is repeated several times throughout the story, and the clear sequence of events makes it an ideal choice for targeting children’s sequencing skills.

For further speech and language targets in The Gruffalo, see list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Complex Episode

Story Plot: Conquering The Monster ; Repetitive Tale

  • animals - forest, nocturnal
  • places - forest
  • problem solving

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /d/ - deep, dark, goodbye, good, food, wood, kind, hide, bread, ahead
  • /f/ - fox, feast, favourite, food, Gruffalo
  • /l/ - little, lunch, lake, log, Gruffalo, silly, hello, terrible
  • /m/ - mouse, my, meet, tummy, steam, ice-cream
  • /r/ - rocks, roasted, rumble, terrible, orange, scary
  • /r/ blends - Gruffalo, creature, crumble, brown, prickles, trees, stream, scrambled, ice-cream
  • /s/ - saw, silly, mouse, house, hiss, grass
  • /t/ - terrible, tusk, teeth, tea, toes, tongue, taste
  • voiced /th/ - the, these, there, they
  • unvoiced /th/ - through, thing, teeth, with, path
  • /z/ - poisonous, claws, jaws, knees, toes, nose, eyes
  • adjectives
  • conjunctions (and, but)
  • negatives (no)
  • regular past tense
  • irregular past tense verbs (went, saw, took, sped, slid, fled)
  • prepositions
  • possessive pronouns (his)
  • subjective pronouns (I, you, he, they)
  • action verbs
  • mental verbs (know)
  • matching
  • labelling
  • identifying parts
  • describing
  • making inferences
  • synonyms (amazing, astounding)
  • figurative language: similes (quick as the wind)
  • what (What's a Gruffalo?)
  • where (Where are you going? Where are you meeting him?)
  • who (Who is this creature?)
  • descriptive concepts (big, little, colours, dark)
  • location concepts (in, on, behind, ahead, inside)
  • greetings / farewell
  • initiating conversation
  • problem solving
  • character description
  • setting
  • sequencing
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • feelings
  • resolution
  • dialogue
Rhyme & Sound Awareness:
  • rhyme
Book Info

Published by Penguin Books Ltd in 2006 (ISBN: 9780142403877)

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