Monday, February 05, 2007

The Gruffalo's Child

Sorry, no posts for a while - maybe one day I'll fill you in on all that's been happening, but it's nothing really spectacular so don't feel you're missing out at all....

Today, though, was exciting*. Today was Ellie's first trip to the theatre. And she loved it, which I think is pretty good for a 2 year old. It probably helped that we took her to see a play of the book The Gruffalo's Child. It was really good fun, cleverly staged with just 3 actors and minimal scenery and some catchy songs too. Ellie sat enthralled for the first 30 minutes, and easily managed the last 25 minutes with a few little prompt to sit still and watch.

And, the play answered the question which has occassionally crossed my mind during numerous bedtime readings - why do the animals tell the Gruffalo's child where the big bad mouse is, when he doesn't exist?! The answer, of course, is self preservation when they realise they are face to face with a gruffalo (albeit a small one!).

Ellie really loves this book (this, Winnie the Witch stories and Toot and Puddle are constant bedtime choices). And I have to say I like it too. The story is a good sequel to The Gruffalo, but I like the way that it plays against traditional stereotypes. The only parent in the book is The Gruffalo - who is "Dad". No sign of Gruffalo mum, and in my experience of pre-school books there aren't many single parent men represented. (Indeed there aren't all that many stories where the Dad takes on a key role as carer - something I've become more aware of now that it seems very likely that Paul will be a stay at home dad). Similarly, I appreciate that the adventurous, brave, exploring child is a girl - I remember reading it for the first time and feeling a moment of surprise (and pleasure) as I read that "she tiptoed out of the gruffalo cave".

And to think, that without a child I would have missed out on all of this - it almost makes those 5.30 am starts every day worth it!

* and that's without the additional excitement for me of having a 1.30pm performance in York, and at 11.50 am finding that my car that has decided (very uncharacteristically) not to start when I am trying to leave work in Wakefield 35 miles away....!


Anonymous said...

Heh... I love the gruffalo books even though I've not read them that often. I imagine the 80th reading might be a bit wearing though.

Jessica said...

We haven't read the Gruffalo books yet, but we really enjoy our Toot & Puddle books! Sounds like you had a great time.