Review Blog

Jun 08 2010

Grug and the Circus by Ted Prior

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Simon and Schuster, 2010. ISBN: 978 0731814343
Grug learns to read by Ted Prior
Simon and Schuster, 2010. ISBN: 978 0731814473
Ted Prior's new offerings in the Grug series are simple stories reflecting the day to day existence of the young reader. In the first title, Grug spies a circus tent which inspires him to immerse himself in a game of make believe and he develops acts for his own circus. Very few children have not, at some stage, 'put on a show' for their parents and this story simply serves to illustrate the idea. The second title outlines the way in which Grug first visits his local library to borrow books and then teaches himself to read by copying the children from the nearby school. Again, Prior uses as his focus experiences shared by all.
I had to check the Internet to see when the other titles in this series were first published and was surprised to see they were released between 1979 and 1992. They seem to have been part of library collections for as long as I can remember. I now suspect, however, that I first saw them whilst studying Children's Literature at Teacher's College and they must have been quite new. The simplistic shape of the character Grug seems so familiar and distinctly reminiscent of the Australian bush and May Gibbs' Gum nut babies. Despite the simplicity of the stories, these books continue to be a favourite of many children and I cannot help but love having had the opportunity to re-visit the series.
Jo Schenkel

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