Whenever I see or hear the word Grug, a warmth of nostalgia floods through me. I learnt to read on Grug. And once I could read, I kept re-reading the Grug books, because the stories always made me smile. Each time I picked up one of the books to read, I’d read through it once, get to the end, and then flip straight back to the first page to read the story over again.
Grug is a strange little creature. Ted Prior’s beloved character was born when the top of a Burrawang tree fell to the ground. Prior created Grug in 1979, and the books continued to be published until the early 1990s. In 2009 Simon & Schuster reprinted the series, and more Grug stories have been created since then.
I can’t pinpoint exactly why I like Grug so much. Perhaps it is because he looks so different from any other character in any book I’ve read. Or maybe it is because Grug is usually perfectly happy on his own, doing the things he loves. It might even be the fact that no matter what problem Grug faces, he always comes up with a solution and manages to sort things out. Or maybe it is simply because although each story is so short, they are so satisfying to read and the illustrations so full of life.
Whatever the reason, late last year a box set of Grug including a plush Grug toy was released and I’ve been itching to buy it ever since I saw it. I want to place Grug up on my bookshelf along with my Grug books, so that every time I glance at my bookshelf I’m reminded of my first experiences reading, my recollections of these wonderful little stories, and why I still can’t stop devouring books, one after another after another.
Grug, 1979- 1992, Hodder & Stoughton Australia
2009- present, Simon & Schuster