Prince William has been in the news a lot lately, but most recently it was because he revealed the bedtime story his children love the most. According to Hello!, the classic book The Gruffalo is a “hit” with the royal youngsters. Prince William, 36, met with the book’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler on Monday evening. Donaldson and Scheffler have decorated one of a set of 21 rhinos that mark the Tusk Rhino Trail, an art installation that spans the city of London. According to The Tusk website, the art installation is meant to “[celebrate] the magnificence of the rhino and [draw] attention to the severe threat of poaching to their survival.”
The design Donaldson and Scheffler chose is one from their book, The Ugly Five. Prince William was a big fan of the rhino the pair painted, which is located near his home at Kensington Palace. When he met them, the Duke of Cambridge was elated.
“I know who you are. It’s a big hit in our household, The Gruffalo. It’s amazing, I love it. You can tell it’s you guys. It’s the eyes [of the animals] I think, you can always tell the eyes,” Prince William said. He added that it was a good thing that his son, 5-year-old Prince George, did not know that the rhino was for sale, otherwise he’d be “keeping an eye on it.”
The Duke of Cambridge toured the Tusk Rhino Trial, shaking hands and chatting with the artists. The rhinos, which have all been painted by different artists, are set up in different parts of the city. On October 9, there will be an auction held at Christie’s for them. The auction will raise money for Tusk’s initiative.
“It’s amazing,” said Prince William during his tour. “I hope it’s created some debate.”
The Gruffalo was first published in 1999. It tells the story of a mouse who wanders through the woods evading danger. The mouse cleverly evades danger by name-dropping his big, scary friend, the Gruffalo, an animal the mouse believes to be fictitious. Eventually, the mouse runs into an actual Gruffalo, which is a hybrid of a grizzly bear and a buffalo. When the Gruffalo threatens to eat the mouse, the mouse responds in kind, persuading it to believe he is the toughest animal of them all. The book has been turned into a West End play and was shown on Broadway. It was turned into a film starring James Cordon, Helena Bonham Carter, John Hurt, and Tom Wilkinson.