Name: Laura Coughlin

Department: What’s On

Role: Head of Content

In Motivate since: 2014 to present (small hiatus in the middle that we don’t talk about)

Why should we trust your recommendation? Don’t take my word for it. A snappy Google search suggests that over 13 million copies in 59 editions have been sold worldwide.

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My Recommendation: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Why did I pick this book? I have many happy memories attached to The Gruffalo. I remember reading it for the first time to my best friend’s little boy, and seeing how he lit up as I told it. I remember how it soothed my Guide Daughter when I was babysitting her. It even inspired me to write my own children’s book.

What do I love about it? Our protagonist, the mouse, is an all-out legend. He manages to outwit the other mean forest animals who want to eat him, by tricking them into thinking he’s best mates with a monster … and they believe him. This allows the mouse to travel through the woods safely without having to worry about becoming forest food. Proper hero, our mouse.

Julia’s fantastic rhyming ability paired with Axel Scheffler’s gorgeous illustrations make this a wonderful children’s book if not one of the best ever made.

What do I hate about it? Probably that I didn’t come up with the story first!

Best read during? Obviously as a children’s book, it’s best read to kids. Put on the voices, get into character, and make magic.

Value for money? Yes

How many stars would you rate it? 4.5/5

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