New storybook walk at Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary

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The beloved book “The Gruffalo,” by Julia Donaldson, with illustrations by Axel Scheffler, will be the next book at Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary’s storybook walk, which began last Saturday afternoon, April 19. According to a press release from Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary, “The Gruffalo” is the story of a clever mouse who takes a walk in the woods and outsmarts the animals he encounters who would like to eat him by telling them about the Gruffalo. What is a Gruffolo? Find out while walking around Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary.

“The Gruffalo” has won awards, and been adapted theatrically for the theater and screen. First published in the United Kingdom, there is a Gruffalo trail for children at Thorndon Country Park in Essex, where children have an opportunity to walk along a trail and encounter larger-than-life characters from the book as they go.

Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation is partnering with the Edgartown Public Library to bring monthly storybook walks with related activities to the sanctuary. Take home craft bags with a Gruffalo-related activity will be available at the children’s room take-out window at the Edgartown library, which is open Monday-Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Elyce Bonnell, children’s librarian at the library chose “The Gruffalo” for this month’s bookwalk because “It is a fun story for all ages that follows the mouse as he walks through the woods and encounters many animals that frequent properties like Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary on the Island,” the release says.

This is a self-guided activity for children of any age and their caregivers. The storybook walk begins near the informational kiosk, just off of the parking lot on Plantingfield Way. Stands placed around the Ruth and Ed Brooks Trail, which is a little over half a mile long, will display pages from the book.

Bonnell will select a new book once a month. Storybook walks are growing in popularity around the country, according to the press release, as they give children an opportunity to engage with a story while getting exercise. These walks also help young readers make connections between the story in a book and the world around them.

The Edgartown library is a mile from Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary. Participants are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing protocols. Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary is open to the public from dawn to dusk. For easy directions to the sanctuary, download the TrailsMV app. For more information, visit sheriffsmeadow.org.