Grug at the Beach – Ted Prior

Mum and I were walking on the beach a couple of months ago and saw something in the distance. As we got closer we both agreed it looked as though Grug had come to the beach and was having a sleep facedown in the sand. We were suitably amused and I decided I had to memorialise this momentous occasion.

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Okay, so perhaps our imaginations are a tad overactive. This is what Grug actually looks like at the beach.

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During his day at the beach Grug builds a sandcastle, gets dumped by a wave (giggles are appropriate when you see the look on his face), soaks up the sun and chases his beach ball.

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While I was disappointed that my favourite snake, Cara, wasn’t invited along for this adventure, this book earned some points for parading Grug in front of me in his beachwear – striped pants that look like pyjamas, some cool sunglasses and a floppy hat.

I’ve loved Grug since I was a kid. I don’t care what he does; I’ll be there cheering him on.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A day at the beach is fun but don’t forget the sunscreen Grug! 

Grug in the Playground – Ted Prior

By now you should know that Grug books are one of my favourite series that are supposedly for children. It doesn’t matter what Grug gets up to; Mum and I always want to know about it. So, today Grug decided to go shopping and in his travels he came across a playground.

Being a curious animal that began his life as the top of a Burrawong tree, Grug is always keen to explore his surroundings. Naturally, upon discovering the playground Grug investigates. What follows is a cross between a comedy of errors and a whirlwind exploration of all the playground has on offer.

While I love all Grug books I did wish Grug’s best friend Cara was in this one. I adore Cara. I could imagine the expressions on her face as Grug flew through the air between each piece of equipment but wondered if she would have joined in or watched from the sidelines.

This is one of the earliest Grug books so the playground equipment actually looks like some of the slides and swings that made up a pretty significant chunk of my childhood. I got all nostalgic looking at the illustrations of Grug’s playground equipment so my review will now morph into me reminiscing about the good ol’ days.

My favourite thing to navigate at the park was this ugly but incredibly fun chunk of climbing heaven that consisted of four huge wooden frames that supported and held together four tyre bridges that were all connected by chains. There were no steps or easy access so you had to find a way to climb up this monstrosity that was probably built by an awesome bunch of local dads.

Some of the tyres weren’t quite as connected to the chains as they should have been. Half of the fun was knowing which tyres posed the biggest challenges and working out how to get past them without falling several metres to the very hard ground below. I’m fairly sure this type of fun would be banned by the safety police these days but it was brilliant!

Fun Fact: I was trying to think of the way to describe the metal climbing frame elephant that Grug encounters in this book so naturally I asked Google. When I came across a picture that was the closest to what I was looking for and that most resembled what I used to play on as a kid in the local park, the description accompanying the photograph included the word vintage. So apparently I’m now old enough for my childhood to be vintage. That’s fun! Sort of … 😜

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Playgrounds are full of fun and challenges for Grug! This classic Aussie hero is back from the bush to enchant a new generation of youngsters!

Grug Learns to Cook – Ted Prior

🥧 Happy Pi Day!! 🥧

To get into the spirit I went through my stack of Grug and Clifford books to see which one would be most suitable for Mum today. I came across Grug Learns to Cook and thought there was a chance Grug would learn to cook pie 🥧 so went with that one.

Grug tries three recipes from his Bush Food Cookbook: tea-tree soup, gum-leaf rolls and carrot cake. So no pie, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

It turns out Grug is as good at cooking as I am and he likes to sample cake batter too. Grug gets an ‘A’ for effort. The results? 🤔

Well, besides the batter splatter which results in my favourite illustration, Grug does wind up with some edible ingredients, if not edible cake. Which brings me to my favourite part:

”Grug baked the rest of the mixture, but it came out burnt and black. He put carrots on the top to make a carrot cake.”

In context and with the accompanying illustration this bit earned a giggle from me. I’m fairly confident that my culinary masterpieces were the inspiration behind Grug’s marvellous food creations in this book. At least Cara hadn’t been invited over for dinner. I’m not sure there would have been enough left at the end of the lesson to feed two.

You’ve got to give Grug credit. He’s always willing to try new things, he tries his best at everything and when things inevitably don’t go quite to plan he doesn’t get upset. He makes the best out of the situation, salvages what he can and goes to bed so he can be ready for his next adventure. I can’t wait to find another excuse to give Mum another Grug book soon! 😃

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Try some scrumptious gum-leaf rolls prepared by Grug! 

This classic Aussie hero is back from the bush to enchant a new generation of youngsters!

Grug and His Kite – Ted Prior

🎵 “Let’s go fly a kite

Up to the highest height!

Let’s go fly a kite

And send it soaring” 🎵

Now that I’ve successfully transferred the Mary Poppins song that’s been playing on repeat in my head ever since I first saw this book (you’re welcome!), I’ll tell you what I think about Grug and His Kite.

I loved it!!! I bet that was a surprise since I love all Grug books!

I was disappointed that Cara didn’t make an appearance in this one as I would have loved to have seen her expression when Grug and his kite become airborne and do some pretty impressive aerial acrobatics. The eagle was well drawn but spent the book looking kind of cranky. I suppose sharing the sky with a kite that looks like Grug may have been slightly outside of its usual routine, but with Grug around you never know what’s going to happen! While it’s not my favourite Grug book, it’s still awfully cute and fun to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Startle the birds and touch the sky with Grug! 

Grug Learns to Swim – Ted Prior

In honour of my first swim this season (I know that I’m several months late), I had to read about Grug learning how to swim. Grug is my very favourite animated grassy top of a Burrawang tree and his friend Cara is my very favourite smiley carpet snake.

In this instalment, good ol’ Cara saves Grug from drowning in the creek before he learns to swim. The illustrations of waterlogged Grug upside down in the creek (see cover image) and waterlogged Grug sitting on the grassy bank are now two of my favourite Grug expressions. Of course, smiley Cara is always (practically) huggable.

I keep thinking that I can never love Grug and Cara more, and every new book proves me wrong.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Splash and paddle and float with Grug! 

Grug Meets Snoot – Ted Prior

I never read this one as a kid. It’s so lovely! Snoot is the cutest little echidna and he becomes friends with Grug. Until you’ve seen an echidna laying on its back smiling, you don’t know what adorable is. I may have accidentally bought all of the Grug books that Mum and I don’t already own during the latest Booktopia free shipping bookathon so over the course of the next few months, be prepared to become well acquainted with this quirky childhood favourite. I’ll be hiding them for Mum randomly, interspersed with some Clifford books bought at the same time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 😊

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

An echidna called Snoot is the perfect, prickly friend for Grug! 

Grug Goes to Hospital – Ted Prior

I love Grug! I read a lot of these as a kid and recently rediscovered them in packs of ten at Big W. They’re just as adorable as I remembered. Who says they’re for kids?! My mother and I love them! I actually bought the packs for Mum and have been randomly hiding individual books for her to find when she least expects it. Today I hid this one for her and it’s the LAST. ONE. I. HAVE! Need to remedy that ASAP!

In Grug Goes to Hospital, which I hadn’t read before, Grug shows Cara how he can swing on a rope and falls off.

Cara pulls Grug on the ambulance to the Bush Hospital. On the way the ambulance tips over and Grug gets a headache. Once at the hospital Cara patches Grug up, splinting his leg and wrapping a bandage haphazardly around his head before instructing him to rest. Grug gets a visitor while he’s in hospital and works on a project to cheer up other patients.

I adore Cara! You can almost hear her thinking, ‘What trouble are you going to get yourself in to now, Grug?’ She’s a great friend who’s always there to figuratively lend a hand – as a snake, she doesn’t have any. I love this series so much! It doesn’t matter what Grug does next. I’ll be reading about it no matter what.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Poor Grug has hurt himself! Keep him company as he goes to hospital!