Initially published in 1999 as a 32-page hardback, aimed at readers aged three to seven, the story was only about 700 words long and written in rhyming couplets. With later paperback and board book editions, it became an international best-seller.
More than 14 million copies have been sold, with translations into 81 languages. A sequel, The Gruffalo’s Child, was published in 2004, and the original story was turned into an animated short film in 2009.
The set of six counter-sheet stamps has designs based on the book illustrations, mirroring the original tale and inscribed with brief extracts from the text. Its two se-tenant strips of three work as a chronological storyboard, if you consider the £1.60 values first and the 1st class values second.
Scheffler was commissioned by Royal Mail to create a brand new illustration for the accompanying miniature sheet, which brings together all the characters in a composite artwork.
Designed by the Rose agency, the issue was printed in litho by International Security Printers, the individual stamps in sheets of 60 divided into two panes of 30.
£1.60 A MOUSE TOOK A STROLL
A mouse journeys into the deep, dark wood, only to meet a series of potential predators. He intimidates them in turn by inventing a story about the Gruffalo, a creature which is a figment of his imagination.
£1.60 ROASTED FOX!
The mouse avoids being eaten by a fox by claiming to be meeting the Gruffalo.
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