It was on a day when the kids were finally down for their midday nap. I sat down on the couch for a little break and found myself watching what was showing on the kid’s channel. It was The Gruffalo animation by Julia Donaldson, and it was brilliant. I spent the time relaxing on the couch and listening to the voice of narrator Helena Bonham Carter as she followed a clever little mouse through the woods. I’m sure you have also found yourself enjoying animated shows even more than your kids, and get so involved you have to find out what happens in the end! Rest assured the little mouse does very well to escape the Gruffalo, and his daughter in the sequel.
Since then I enjoy reading Julia Donaldson’s books and watching the animated shows with the kids on ShowMax. Julia is a talented writer and she collaborated with illustrator Axel Scheffler for the books featured below. Together they have created stories which bring out various emotions and make you engage with the characters. The animations are available online with subscription service ShowMax, and can be viewed from any device and downloaded to watch anywhere. I recommend watching these shows with your children for the first time. The characters in The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child can be a little scary, my kids were very worried for the witch as she was chased through the clouds in Room on the Broom, and sad that Stick Man had lost is family and bitten by the dog. You may feel sad, happy, and even scared, and fall in love with the animation as go on a journey through the woods, over meadows and even out to sea.
There is a mouse who takes a walk through the deep dark woods. He meets a fox, an owl and a snake who would rather eat him, than have a nut for their tea. This little mouse outsmarts them with a tale of a Gruffalo, who turns out to be real. After convincing the Gruffalo that he is not little at all, but a Big Bad Mouse, he finally gets to enjoy his nut for his tea. Daddy also enjoys reading this book, but he doesn’t do the voices as well as mommy does. He knows it off by heart and whenever there is talk of a mouse, he recites the lines and how the Gruffalo has purple prickles all over his back! This book is a must read and to watch now on ShowMax.
The Gruffalo’s Child
The sequel to The Gruffalo, this is the tale of the little girl Gruffalo who ventures out of her cave one night looking for adventure, ignoring her father’s warning about the Big Bad Mouse that lives in the woods. The little Gruffalo meets the same characters as she searches for the mouse through the snow. She finally discovers why her father is afraid of the Big Bad Mouse and returns home a little less curious and happier to be safe with him. The Gruffalo’s Child – watch now.
Room on the Broom
Possibly my favourite of the four books, Room on the Broom has all the characters you could want. There is a friendly witch, a jealous cat, a keen dog, a green bird, a clean frog and even a dragon. The witch welcomes her new friends on to her broom, and they do something very special for her in return. You must also see the broom at the end! Room on the Broom – watch now.
This is Stick Man. Stick Man loves his family and jogging in the morning, but not everyone recognises him as Stick Man. He ends up on a grand adventure as he tries his best to get home to his stick family in time for Christmas. It’s not an easy journey, and my kids were worried about him so I needed to be there to reassure them that it would all be ok. Santa Clause also makes a guest appearance. The award-winning film is an African success story as it was brought to life by South African animation company Triggerfish. Stick Man – watch now.
Which is your favourite?