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Julia Donaldson - Author

About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented prize-winning author of some of the world's best-loved children's books, including modern classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, which together have sold over 17 million copies worldwide, and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard adventures. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle books illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. She was Children’s Laureate 2011-13 and has been honoured with an MBE for Services to Literature. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West Sussex and Edinburgh. She has collaborated with artists such as Sara Ogilvie, David Roberts, and on her book Animalphabet with Sharon King-Chai.

Click here to read a Q & A with Julia.

Author photo © Steve Ullathorne

Carry on searching for Ladybirds here!

Featured books by Julia Donaldson

The Ugly Five

The Ugly Five

3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

The Smartest Giant 15th Anniversary Edition

The Smartest Giant 15th Anniversary Edition

5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/12/2016

A new, limited edition of the modern classic The Smartest Giant in Town. George wished he wasn't the scruffiest giant in town. So when he sees a new shop selling giant-sized clothes, he decides it's time for a new look: smart trousers, smart shirt, stripy tie, shiny shoes. Now he's the smartest giant in town...until he bumps into some animals who desperately need his help - and his clothes! Join George on his journey in this special anniversary edition. 

Spinderella

Spinderella

5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Sebastian Braun Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

A fantastic new picture book all about a football-playing spider, written by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, with glorious full colour illustrations from the talented Sebastian Braun and a sparkling, glittery foiled cover. Spinderella the spider has a passion for football! She tries to play a match with her brothers and sisters but she doesn't know how many spiders should be on each team. Even worse, she can't count the goals! Luckily for Spinderella, her Hairy Godmother has a plan...Julia Donaldson does it again in this hugely engaging and funny story all about football, spiders and counting - what's not to love! The perfect picture book for children of all ages - boys and girls alike. Julia Donaldson is the internationally renowned author of the best-loved picture books in the world, including The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard, Sugarlump and the Unicorn and Night Monkey, Day Monkey. Julia Donaldson's collaborations with Axel Scheffler have sold millions of copies, and Room on the Broom is now an Academy Award-nominated short film. Sebastian Braun studied fine and applied arts at Strasbourg University. He moved to London in 2000 and since then has been working exclusively on children's picture books, having been published by Orchard, Walker, Campbell, HarperCollins and Puffin.

Zog and the Flying Doctors

Zog and the Flying Doctors

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2016

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are at their sparkling best in this fabulously original sequel to the bestselling ZOG.

The Scarecrows' Wedding

The Scarecrows' Wedding

Baby and Toddler 3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2016

THE SCARECROWS' WEDDING is the eagerly awaited new picture book from the creators of THE GRUFFALO and STICK MAN, now available in paperback. Written in Julia Donaldson's glorious rhyme and illustrated in glowing colour by Axel Scheffler, THE SCARECROWS' WEDDING is a fabulous love story, with drama, humour, originality - and a happy ending! Two scarecrows, Betty O'Barley and Harry O'Hay, are planning the perfect wedding. But wicked scarecrow, Reginald Rake, has other ideas and almost ruins their special day. Harry must become a hero before he and Betty can have the wedding of their dreams.

The Gruffalo Annual

The Gruffalo Annual

3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/07/2015

The official Gruffalo Annual is bursting with fun stories, perfect puzzles and amazing activities, featuring all your favourite characters from the deep dark wood. With 64 pages filled with crafts, recipes, quizzes, games, drawing, writing and colouring-in, it's enough to keep Gruffalo fans busy all year round! From the award-winning duo Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, the creators of The Gruffalo.

The Flying Bath

The Flying Bath

3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: David Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Fly across the world in the amazing Flying Bath!

Princess Mirror-Belle

Princess Mirror-Belle

7+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Lydia Monks Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

A collection of funny and exciting Princess Mirror-Belle adventures from the much-loved author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson - perfect for newly independent readers.

ebook of the month
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Party Hoppers

Princess Mirror-Belle and the Party Hoppers

7+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Magically mischievous Mirror-Belle is back and ready to sweep Ellen off on more exciting and hilarious escapades. From the much-loved author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson - perfect for newly independent readers.

ebook of the month
Stick Man Book & Floor Puzzle Gift Set

Stick Man Book & Floor Puzzle Gift Set

Baby and Toddler 3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 02/10/2014

Creators of The Gruffalo, best selling author/ illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are back with another bestseller on their hands. “Stick Man lives in the family tree/ with Stick Lady love/ And his children three”.But one day Stick Man is pounced on by a dog. Help! This is not what Stick Man wants….While others find many ignominious uses for Stick Man – a bat, a pen, a bow and a boomerang among others – Stick Man does all he can to find his way back home…And, happily, he does! A brilliant visual treat now available as a stunning gift set, containing a mini paperback of the book and a 24-piece floor puzzle.

Stick Man and Other Stories

Stick Man and Other Stories

Baby and Toddler 3+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/08/2014

Gorgeous mini gift editions of Stick Man, Tabby McTat and The Highway Rat, presented in an irresistible slipcase. All three stories are written in Julia Donaldson's fabulous rhyme and illustrated by the inimitable Axel Scheffler, of Gruffalo fame. A Review from Julia Eccleshare for The Highway Rat - Best-selling author/ illustrator combination Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have teamed up for another great adventure. Many of the creatures that appear in The Gruffalo feature in this rollicking adventure of a greedy Highway Rat and how he is outwitted by a very clever duck. Axel Scheffler’s animals are as full of vivid expression as usual.

The Scarecrows' Wedding

The Scarecrows' Wedding

5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/07/2014

Best-selling Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have paired up again for a rollickingly good picture book. Scarecrows Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay have stood next to each other in a field for some time. Now they are planning to get married and they want to have ‘the best wedding yet’. But the rascally Reginald Rake looks set to scupper their good intentions. Can Betty and Harry save the day? Funny and touching and filled with some familiar looking creatures! ~ Julia Eccleshare

Poems to Perform A Classic Collection Chosen by the Children's Laureate

Poems to Perform A Classic Collection Chosen by the Children's Laureate

5+ readers 7+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Clare Melinsky Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

In Poems to Perform, Julia Donaldson has chosen poems with performance by children in mind, and her notes and ideas on performing them are included in a special section at the end of the book. Julia's passionate belief that performance can help children enjoy reading and grow in confidence is informed by her own experience both as a child and now, working with groups of children to bring stories, poems and songs to life. The poems range from classics by Edward Lear, W H Auden and Eleanor Farjeon to contemporary work by Michael Rosen, John Agard and Clare Bevan. Illustrated throughout with exquisite, expressive lino-cuts by Clare Melinsky, this is a book for teachers, parents, children: anyone who loves great poetry.

Gruffalo's Child Sound Book

Gruffalo's Child Sound Book

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Novelty book Release Date: 12/09/2013

All the sounds of story can be played on the buttons attached to this version of the bestselling The Gruffalo’s Child. Readers will love being able to bring the different animals – and the weather! – to life as the Gruffalo’s Child steps out on an adventure.  The perfect Christmas gift!

Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds: Tadpoles and Other Stories

Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds: Tadpoles and Other Stories

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The Children's Laureate and bestselling author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson has carefully created the Songbirds Phonics series to support parents and teachers in helping children learning to read. Julia Donaldson has captivated children all over the world with her lively and engaging stories. This series of books under the Songbirds name builds children's confidence through a clear phonics development with gradual progression to build reading confidence and success. This Stage 4 Songbirds collection contains 6 exciting phonics stories in 1!  These are perfect for parents to read at home with their kids to establish a really strong love of reading and to build confidence. Julia Donaldson says: "Creating the 'Songbirds' series was an enormous challenge of my favourite kind. Almost every word in every book had to be phonically decodable, and yet I wanted to write real stories which children would enjoy reading. I was determined also that the content and illustrations should be as varied as possible, as I know how children’s tastes differ and how monotonous some reading schemes can be. So some of the stories are in prose, some in rhyme, some are realistic and others fantastical." Click here to see more books by Julia Donaldson, including other Songbirds collections.

Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds: Where Is the Snail and Other Stories

Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds: Where Is the Snail and Other Stories

3+ readers 5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

The Children's Laureate and bestselling author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson has carefully created the Songbirds Phonics series to support parents and teachers in helping children learning to read. Julia Donaldson has captivated children all over the world with her lively and engaging stories. This series of books under the Songbirds name builds children's confidence through a clear phonics development with gradual progression to build reading confidence and success. This Stage 3 Songbirds collection contains 6 exciting phonics stories in 1!  These are perfect for parents to read at home with their kids to establish a really strong love of reading and to build confidence. Julia Donaldson says: "Creating the 'Songbirds' series was an enormous challenge of my favourite kind. Almost every word in every book had to be phonically decodable, and yet I wanted to write real stories which children would enjoy reading. I was determined also that the content and illustrations should be as varied as possible, as I know how children’s tastes differ and how monotonous some reading schemes can be. So some of the stories are in prose, some in rhyme, some are realistic and others fantastical." Click here to see more books by Julia Donaldson, including other Songbirds collections.

Other books by Julia Donaldson

Princess Mirror-Belle

Princess Mirror-Belle

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/11/2021

From Julia Donaldson, the bestselling author of The Gruffalo, comes Princess Mirror-Belle, the exciting adventures of a mischievous princess. Full of black-and-white illustrations by Lydia Monks, Princess Mirror-Belle is perfect for fans of this bestselling picture-book team and who are beginning to read on their own. It contains six delightful stories that children will come back to again and again. Ellen's life is turned upside down by the hilarious Mirror-Belle, a spirited princess who claims to be from somewhere mysterious and far away. She appears out of mirrors to tell Ellen magical stories and take her on exciting escapades. From battling with Dragon Pox to helping out with the local pantomime, celebrating birthdays, having fun at the fair and starting at a new school, there are always adventures to be had! This book contains the following stories: Dragon Pox Ellen's Castle Snow White and the Eight Dwarfs Party Hoppers Wobblesday Love-Potion Crisps

The Smeds and the Smoos BB

The Smeds and the Smoos BB

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Board book Release Date: 04/11/2021

Soar into space with this glorious love story of alien folk, from the creators of The Gruffalo and Stick Man - now available in a fun, sturdy board book edition! The Smeds (who are red) never mix with the Smoos (who are blue). So when a young Smed and Smoo fall in love, their families strongly disapprove. But peace is restored and love conquers all in this happiest of love stories. There's even a gorgeous purple baby to celebrate! With fabulous rhymes and breathtaking illustrations, this book is literally out of this world! From the creators of The Gruffalo, Stick Man and ZOG, which have all been made into animated films shown on BBC1 Zog and the Flying Doctors animation will be shown on BBC1 December 2020. Praise for The Smeds and the Smoos: 'A book for our time.' BBC Radio 4 'Blast off with the most exciting book yet from the creator of The Gruffalo. Get ready for a wild and wonderful journey through space in a book that is perfect for reading together.' The Sun 'The Gruffalo team's own Jabberwocky, with rhyme and nonsense words but a happy ending, inventively illustrated by Scheffler.' The Times 'A timely tale of tolerance that's fun to read aloud.' Daily Express

Spinderella

Spinderella

5+ readers

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Sebastian Braun Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

A fantastic new picture book all about a football-playing spider, written by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, with glorious full colour illustrations from the talented Sebastian Braun and a sparkling, glittery foiled cover. Spinderella the spider has a passion for football! She tries to play a match with her brothers and sisters but she doesn't know how many spiders should be on each team. Even worse, she can't count the goals! Luckily for Spinderella, her Hairy Godmother has a plan...Julia Donaldson does it again in this hugely engaging and funny story all about football, spiders and counting - what's not to love! The perfect picture book for children of all ages - boys and girls alike. Julia Donaldson is the internationally renowned author of the best-loved picture books in the world, including The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard, Sugarlump and the Unicorn and Night Monkey, Day Monkey. Julia Donaldson's collaborations with Axel Scheffler have sold millions of copies, and Room on the Broom is now an Academy Award-nominated short film. Sebastian Braun studied fine and applied arts at Strasbourg University. He moved to London in 2000 and since then has been working exclusively on children's picture books, having been published by Orchard, Walker, Campbell, HarperCollins and Puffin.

The Gruffalo Sound Book

The Gruffalo Sound Book

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2021

Press the twelve sound buttons in the pages of the story to make Julia Donaldson's classic tale of The Gruffalo come alive! Listen to Snake hiss and Owl hoot! Hear Mouse's tummy rumble and the Gruffalo growl in this magical, interactive story sound book. The ideal gift for all Gruffalo fans, The Gruffalo Sound Book is also the perfect introduction to this family favourite . . . A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good. Walk further into the deep dark wood, and discover what happens when a quick-witted mouse comes face to face with an owl, a snake . . . and a hungry Gruffalo! Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Gruffalo is an undisputed modern classic and has become a bestselling phenomenon across the world. This award-winning rhyming story of a mouse and a monster has found its way into the hearts and bedtimes of an entire generation of children and will undoubtedly continue to enchant children for years and years to come.

The Gruffalo's Child: A Push, Pull and Slide Book

The Gruffalo's Child: A Push, Pull and Slide Book

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Board book Release Date: 28/10/2021

Push, pull and slide the moving mechanisms to meet all your favourite characters from the deep dark wood in this brilliant board book based on the bestselling classic picture book, The Gruffalo's Child, and bring the story to life! One wild and windy night the Gruffalo's Child disobeys her father's warnings and ventures out into the snow. After all, the Big Bad Mouse doesn't really exist . . . does he? Move the push, pull and slide mechanisms on every spread to find out. With a short, simple rhyming text based on the original story, The Gruffalo's Child: A Push, Pull and Slide Book is the perfect introduction for preschoolers to The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, and a great gift for fans of the bestselling picture book.

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar

The Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Yuval Zommer Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2021

From Julia Donaldson, bestselling author of The Gruffalo, and award-winning illustrator Yuval Zommer, comes a charming minibeast Cinderella story. Crawling through the garden, the little Woolly Bear Caterpillar wonders what kind of moth she will become. Bonny and bright, stunning and smart, but not kind, the other caterpillars laugh at the small, plain Woolly Bear. There is one thing that they are sure of: Woolly Bear could never be as dramatic and beautiful as them! But could one little caterpillar be about to undergo a truly terrific transformation? Brilliantly written and stunningly illustrated this engaging picture book comes complete with a non-fiction mini book about caterpillars and moths written by a nature specialist.

The Christmas Pine HB

The Christmas Pine HB

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Victoria Sand y Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/10/2021

A magical picture book for Christmas, written in perfect, heartfelt rhyme by Julia Donaldson, bestselling creator of Zog and Superworm. Deep in a snowy wood stands a little pine tree with a special destiny: when it grows up, it's going to be the famous Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square! This is the perfect picture book to snuggle up with and share at Christmas. Gorgeous, atmospheric illustrations whisk you from frozen forests to the sparkling city square in a beautiful, moving story of festivity and hope. This gorgeously illustrated hardback book has a gold-foiled dust jacket, making it the perfect Christmas gift for young children Julia Donaldson's perfect rhyme is a joy to read aloud - this is a classic to treasure for generations Victoria Sandoy's exquisite, atmospheric illustrations are full of gorgeous details to point out and share A paragraph on the final page of the book explains the true story behind the tree The Christmas Pine is based on a true story. It celebrates a special tradition that stretches back over seventy years. Every year, the Mayor of Oslo in Norway presents the British people with a spectacular Christmas tree. The tree is a symbol of peace and friendship, and a thank you for the UK's support during World War II. Each year, the UK Poetry Society asks a poet to write a poem to welcome the tree. Julia Donaldson originally wrote The Christmas Pine to celebrate the 2020 Christmas tree. The poem was performed by London schoolchildren, and displayed in Trafalgar Square. Julia Donaldson is the author of many of the best-loved children's books ever written. She has been awarded a CBE for services to literature, and is the most celebrated children's writer in Britain today. Many of Julia Donaldson's beloved picture books have been made into award-winning animated films which are regularly shown on the BBC at Christmas.

Squirrel's Snowman

Squirrel's Snowman

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Board book Release Date: 14/10/2021

Lift the flaps and join in the fun with Squirrel's Snowman, a new story in the Tales from Acorn Wood preschool series by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. It's snowing, and Squirrel wants to build a snowman. Will she and her friends find everything they need to build? Lift the flaps to find out! With sturdy flaps on every spread and rhyming stories that are a joy to read aloud, Squirrel's Snowman joins the first four stories in the Tales from Acorn Wood series - Fox's Socks, Postman Bear, Rabbit's Nap and Hide-and-Seek Pig - which have been delighting parents and children for over twenty years.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.juliadonaldson.co.uk/

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