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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

Room on the Broom Touch and Feel Book

Room on the Broom Touch and Feel Book

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Board book Release Date: 15/09/2022

Feel the witch's black cape, stroke the dog's soft fur and touch the dragon's rough scales in this interactive touch and feel book, based on the bestselling picture book, Room on the Broom. Join the witch and all her animal friends in this magical touch and feel book, featuring all your favourite characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's Room on the Broom. With a simple text, bright colours and touches to explore on every page, the Room on the Broom Touch and Feel Book is perfect for little hands, and is sure to keep preschool children entertained for hours. Enjoy more touch and feel books with: The Gruffalo Touch and Feel Book

The Gruffalo and Friends Advent Calendar Book Collection (2022)

The Gruffalo and Friends Advent Calendar Book Collection (2022)

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2022

Count down to Christmas with this advent calendar collection of twenty-four mini activity, puzzle and game books, based on the bestselling picture books by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Enjoy a book every day with this fantastic festive collection, including colouring, drawing and activity books based on the family-favourite picture books, The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and more. Plus lots of family fun with games and quizzes to enjoy together. With twenty-four mini books collected together in a beautiful hardback presentation case with tie ribbon, The Gruffalo and Friends Advent Calendar Book Collection is perfect for sharing together every day of advent.

The Baddies HB

The Baddies HB

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2022

The brand-new picture book from superstar author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a riot of slapstick fun and silliness. The Baddies are the meanest, nastiest ghost, witch and troll in the land. They just adore being bad, and fight over who is the worst. When a little girl moves into a nearby cottage, the Baddies can't wait to scare her out of her wits. But the little girl quickly shows them that you don't have to be big to be brave, and baddies don't always win. Perfect read-aloud rhyming text and stunning pictures on every page with lots of details to spot Julia and Axel are the team that have created picture book favourites such as The Gruffalo, Stick Man, Zog and Highway Rat - all of which have been made into animated films premiering on BBC1 Christmas Day. Superworm animation will premiere on BBC Christmas Day 2021.

Tyrannosaurus Drip 15th Anniversary Edition

Tyrannosaurus Drip 15th Anniversary Edition

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/08/2022

Celebrate fifteen years of embracing differences with this shiny special anniversary edition of Tyrannosaurus Drip featuring brand new bonus material. Everyone knows that tyrannosauruses are supposed to be big and scary, so when a placid duckbill dinosaur's egg ends up in the wrong nest, confusion is sure to ensue! When the baby dinosaur hatches out, he's so out of place that his grisly big sisters call him Tyrannosaurus Drip. Poor little Drip: all he wants is a quiet life munching on water weed . . . From the stellar partnership of Julia Donaldson and David Roberts, this fantastic rhyming adventure story has plenty of humour and is perfect for young dinosaur fans everywhere!

The Smeds and the Smoos: Book and CD

The Smeds and the Smoos: Book and CD

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2022

Soar into space with this glorious love story of alien folk, from the creators of The Gruffalo and Stick Man - read by Oscar-nominated actor Imelda Staunton! 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! The complete book now with a CD featuring the story, a listening game and song, all performed by award-winning actor Imelda Staunton 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

Na Stocan agus Na Stucan

Na Stocan agus Na Stucan

Author: Julia Donaldson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2022

The Smartest Giant in Town Sticker Book

The Smartest Giant in Town Sticker Book

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Axel Scheffler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/07/2022

Join George, the kindest giant you'll ever meet, in this must-have 20th anniversary edition sticker book, based on the bestselling The Smartest Giant in Town. Packed with games, activities and over 400 stickers, this book is perfect for birthdays, rainy days and school holidays - a great gift for any child. The Smartest Giant in Town Sticker Book comes from the award-winning creators of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

What the Ladybird Heard: A Push, Pull and Slide Book

What the Ladybird Heard: A Push, Pull and Slide Book

Author: Julia Donaldson Illustrator: Lydia Monks Format: Board book Release Date: 07/07/2022

Push, pull and slide the moving mechanisms to follow the ladybird and all the animals on the farm in this brilliant board book based on the bestselling classic picture book What the Ladybird Heard. When the little spotty ladybird hears Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh's plan to steal the fine prize cow, she makes a clever plan, and all the animals join in to help stop the thieves! Move the push, pull and slide mechanisms on every spread to join in too and bring the story to life. With a short, simple rhyming text based on the original story, What the Ladybird Heard: A Push, Pull and Slide Book is the perfect introduction for preschoolers to the What the Ladybird Heard series by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, and a great gift for little fans of the bestselling picture book.

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