Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have brought their popular characters back to show them practising social distancing. The move is a fun way to help children understand the new regulations in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team behind The Gruffalo created the illustrations as a “light-hearted” way of spreading an important message with the help of The Gruffalo, Stickman and The Smeds and The Smoos – all of whom are keeping a safe distance from each another.
The characters are also seen helping others with their shopping.
The Gruffalo is arguably Donaldson and Scheffler’s most popular picture book, selling over 13 million copies, and had been turned into a stage play and animation featuring the voice of James Corden.
One of the new sketches shows the Gruffalo walking behind the mouse, accompanied by the couplet:
“Alright said The Gruffalo bursting with laughter / You go ahead, I’ll follow two metres after.”
“Axel had this idea of doing some witty sketches, each based on one of our books and each kind of incorporating a tip about coronavirus,” Julia Donaldson told BBC Breakfast on Friday.
The illustrator started the process by asking himself, “what can I do as an illustrator?” during the pandemic.
“I’m currently working on a digital, free non-fiction book about coronavirus, which is serious and informative and probably more important than this and is coming out next week. [But] I wanted to do something light-hearted and cheer people up and I thought, ‘what if I imagine our characters in corona situations?’
“It’s really more about entertainment than serious information,” he added.