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Author Axel Scheffler Books

Axel Scheffler
Axel Scheffler Biography

Axel Scheffler is an acclaimed illustrator, animator and more recently author of children's books. He was born in Hamburg in 1957 and moved to England in 1982 in order to study illustration at the Bath Academy of Art. He then worked for a variety of advertising companies, magazines and newspapers in both England and Germany. 

His big break into the world of children’s book illustration came when he was asked to illustrate A Squash and a Squeeze, Julia Donaldson’s first book. This was to be the start of a long and very successful partnership. They have collaborated on many books including The Gruffalo, a worldwide bestseller, which has sold over 13.5 million copies and been translated into 60 languages. 

In recent years Scheffler has turned his hand to writing as well as illustrating, creating the adorable characters of Pip and Posy, a mouse and a rabbit, in a series of books aimed at toddlers. He is also the author of The Pocket Library series, a set of rhyming books about animals, again aimed at toddlers, and the Flip Flap book series that includes Flip Flap Farm

Scheffler has also illustrated for many other writers including Phillip Ardagh, author of the series of books about the Grunts, and Ian Whybrow, author of The Bedtime Bear.  

Axel Scheffler Facts

- In a number of the books that Axel Scheffler has illustrated for Julia Donaldson there is a small sketch of a Gruffalo, you have to look very carefully to find them! 

- When Scheffler sends illustrations to Julia Donaldson in the post he decorates the envelopes with doodles.  

- Axel Scheffler designed Christmas cards for Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister in 2006  

- In 2012 Scheffler was approached by the Royal Mail to design a series of 5 Christmas stamps. 

- Like many artists Scheffler is very critical of his own work, he admits that he had a hard time drawing The Gruffalo, and didn’t enjoy drawing him at all.  

Our Favourite Axel Scheffler Book Characters 

The Mouse in Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo 
Mr. Grunt in Philip Ardagh’s The Grunts in Trouble 
Master Criminal Macavity in T. S Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats 
Pip and Posy in Axel Scheffler’s Pip and Posy books