This month our guest editor is Axel Scheffler, illustrious illustrator and now author, who brought Julia Donaldson's first ever picture book, A Squash and a Squeeze and then the Gruffalo to life. He has now turned his talented hand to writing, creating a stunning new series of books featuring Pip and Posy. Find out more about his books which are perfect for toddlers as well as some of his childhood favourites in this special section.
Meet the Grunts! Mr and Mrs, their cat Ginger Biscuit, two donkeys Clip and Clop and Sunny, a child Mr Grunt stole off a washing line as a present for Mrs Grunt. The Grunts roam the land in a ramshackle and unlikely looking home on wheels. Their adventures are as unsavoury, unlikely and entertaining as they are as Axel Scheffler’s illustrations wittily show; fans of Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum and Roald Dahl’s The Twits will delight in this disgusting but amiable pair their terrible antics...
Best-selling Axel Scheffler’s delightful characters Pip and Posy are back for a new adventure. The two friends love playing in the snow together until a difference of opinion causes them to start to quarrel. How will they get back to be friends again? A charming story about the value of sharing.
September 2012 Book of the Month. Meet the Grunts! Mr and Mrs, their cat Ginger Biscuit, two donkeys Clip and Clop and Sunny, a child Mr Grunt stole off a washing line as a present for Mrs Grunt. The Grunts roam the land in a ramshackle and unlikely looking home on wheels. Their adventures are as unsavoury, unlikely and entertaining as they are as Axel Scheffler’s illustrations wittily show; fans of Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum and Roald Dahl’s The Twits will delight in this disgusting but amiable pair their terrible antics...
April 2012 Book of the Month. Best known for creating the pictures for the Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler has created a perfect story for pre-school. How can Pip’s friends cheer him up when his beautiful red balloon goes POP! ? Luckily Posy comes up with a really good idea. Soon Pip and Posy and all their friends are enjoying bubbles. Luckily, there are loads of them – and they always pop. Now Pip doesn’t mind at all. ~ Julia Eccleshare Click here for more Pip and Posy books.
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011 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.
Winner of the Galaxy Children's Book Award 2010. The creators of the best-selling Gruffalo have invented a delightful new character – Zog the little dragon who always wants to do best at school. Zog’s determination to win gold stars leads him into loads of mishaps but luckily he always gets help from a little girl. And she is just as helpful when he needs a princess to rescue. Soon Zog, the princess and the prince who wants to marry her are off to do good in the world in this witty reinvention of the role of dragons. On receiving the award for WH Smith Children’s Book of the Year, Julia and Axel said: “We are delighted that Zog has won the Children’s Book of the Year award for this year’s Galaxy National Book Awards. We have worked together on creating picture books since A Squash and a Squeeze in 1993 and are continually pleased to see children and families loving our books. It is wonderful to know that Zog has captured everyone’s imagination and is a new favourite.”
Best-selling author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have teamed up again to create a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated from the busker he begins a new life on his own. But though the new life with Sock and her owners has great attractions, McTat misses his singing partner and the times they had together. Luckily he comes up with a neat solution for putting the two parts of his life together. Other Axel/Julia collaborations can be found here.
These classic cat poems which sum up all the different kinds of cats there can be are given a delightful new look by bestselling Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Scheffler’s cats are cuddly creatures with expressive eyes through which the cats convey the hilarity and nonsense of T S Eliot’s verses.
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.
A book of nine songs and music together with an accompanying CD including her most famous Room on the Broom. Julia may well be one of the UK’s best-loved picture book authors but she is also a very talented song writer and singer as is shown by this wonderful volume that includes piano accompaniment and guitar chords for each score. This will ensure that even the most reluctant toddler will be hooked on the hilariously funny rhymes and appealing characters from a good witch and a bad dragon to a dog and a frog.
For my family and me this is still one of THE best picture books ever published. This was Julia and Axel’s first collaboration and is now years later an absolute classic. Simply told through brilliant rhyming text and beautiful illustrations with each and every page exuding fun and entertainment and within it all an important message - be happy with what you have got. Fantastic.
Axel Scheffler, Illustrator Extraordinaire, author and now our Guest Editor
Axel was born in Hamburg, Germany. At school he was good at art, but didn't think of a career in illustration until he won a cuddly purple cow in a drawing competition.
So began a brilliant career bringing to life in pictures the stories created by authors. Now he has become an author himself with the Pip and Posy series which are perfect for pre-schoolers and published by Nosy Crow.
What critics have been saying about Pip and Posy:
'Simultaneously cosy and reassuring...Perfect for one to three year olds'
'In these satisfyingly robust, colourful books Axel Scheffler, of Gruffalo fame, has created the wholly desirable pre-school world of Pip and Posy. One hopes there are more to come!'
We asked Axel to write about the books that have influenced him, especially as a child and you can read that below - we hope you enjoy discovering more about him and his beautiful books.
Axel Scheffler's.... reminicences
I don't recall having many picture books when I was a child. Maybe there weren't many around. I had, and still have, Hirsch Heinrich - a book that my dad brought from a trip to East Germany. There were some free comics from a shoe shop and a coffee chain - I had those. I had quiet a few of 'Petzi'-books - a Danish bear with red dungarees with white dots -they were like Comic Books ,but without speech bubbles..
I later had some Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck Comics . Followed later by Asterix. I then discovered "the Peanuts" By Charles M. Schulz . I had a Snoopy poster up in my room as a teenager. My dad had a big Time life book "The World We Live In"- I loved looking at the dinosaurs. Like many children of my generation in Germany, I loved "Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer" by Michael Ende, but I must admit before I had the books I watched the puppet-programme on TV by the 'Augsburger Puppenkiste". I also knew the Grimm fairy tales - my mother must have read them to me.
I was good library user but I don't have any strong recollections of particular books. In my teen I discovered the German humorist Loriot (yes they do exist) and later FKWaechter.I was always interested in art and loved to go to museums with my dad (he never had enough time). Needless to say I loved drawing as well .In my late teen I discovered the art of cartoons. Cartoonists like Chaval ,Bosc,Sempé , Edward Gorey and Tomi Ungerer,who with his children's books was probably the single greatest influence on my own work. Later I found out about William Steig and Czech illustrators like Adolf Born and Jiri Salamoun. In the Seventies I saw big exhibitions of Tomi Ungerer,J.J. Sempé and the great Saul Steinberg - it was always really exciting to see the originals.
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