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Julia Donaldson

  • 5 stars across 620 books
Julia Donaldson Biography
Julia Donaldson is the highly talented author of some of the best-loved children’s books in the world. Born in London in 1948, she grew up with her younger sister Mary who she loved to create imaginary characters with.  

She started her career as a singer-songwriter, writing mainly for children’s television. One of these songs, A Squash and a Squeeze, was made into her first book in 1993 in collaboration with the illustrator, Axel Scheffler. The two have since gone on to produce a large number of bestselling picture books together, many of which have also been adapted into Julia Donaldson films on the BBC, such as The Highway RatStick Man and The GruffaloThe Gruffalo story is a particular favourite with children all over the world, with toys, activity books and even woodland trails featuring the Gruffalo characters. Julia has also worked with other famous illustrators including Lydia Monks and Nick Sharratt.  

She has written over 150 books, including the Julia Donaldson Songbirds (readers that are part of the Oxford Reading Tree), which is used in schools. Aside from her picture books, Julia Donaldson's poems are also immensely popular (e.g. Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum for ages 5-7; Wriggle and Roar for pre-school; The Paper Dolls book and CD) and she has also written a few non-rhyming books for older children.  These include the Princess Mirror-Belle books aimed at 6-9 year olds, and Running on the Cracks, a novel for teenagers. Julia Donaldson books sell all over the world, making her one of the UK’s top selling authors.
Julia Donaldson’s new book The Teeny Weeny Genie, illustrated by Anna Currey, came out in July 2020.

Julia Donaldson Facts 
- Julia Donaldson is a CBE and was Children’s Laureate from 2011-2013 
- She decided she wanted to be a writer when her father gave her a big book of poems for her fifth birthday. 
The Gruffalo, one of the most successful Julia Donaldson stories, has been translated into over 43 different languages, including Scottish Gaelic. If you love the Gruffalo book, check out some of the great activities here, as well as the Gruffalo song. 

We also love the Julia Donaldson collection in audio, with many brilliant readers such as Imelda Staunton and Alexander Armstrong.
Our Favourite Julia Donaldson Characters:  Stick Man in Stick Man, Mouse in The Gruffalo, Spike and Sue in Songbirds Phonic Readers, The Witch in Room on the Broom
Key Julia Donaldson Series: The Gruffalo and Tales from Acorn Wood illustrated by Axel Scheffler, Princess Mirror-Belle and What the Ladybird Heard illustrated by Lydia Monks, Songbird Phonics with Oxford Reading Tree
Our Favourite Julia Donaldson audiobooks:  Superworm - narrated by Imelda Staunton, Room and the Broom book and song - narrated by Josie Lawrence, What the Ladybird Heard - narrated by Alexander Armstrong, The Detective Dog - narrated by Floella Benjamin

The most popular Julia Donaldson books in order: 
 A Squash and a Squeeze (1993)
The Gruffalo (1999)
Monkey Puzzle (2000)
Room on the Broom (2002)
The Smartest Giant in Town (2002)
The Snail and the Whale (2003)
Fox’s Socks (2003)
Rabbit’s Nap (2003)
The Gruffalo’s Child (2004)
Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book (2005)
Stick Man (2008)
What the Ladybird Heard (2009)
The Highway Rat (2011)
The Paper Dolls (2012)
Sugarlump and the Unicorn (2013)
The Scarecrows’ Wedding (2014)
The Detective Dog (2016)
The Everywhere Bear (2017)
The Teeny Weeny Genie (2020)

All the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Books in Order:

A Squash and a Squeeze (1993)
The Gruffalo (1999)
Monkey Puzzle (2000)
Room on the Broom (2002)
The Smartest Giant in Town (2002)
The Snail and the Whale (2003)
The Gruffalo’s Child (2004)
Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book (2005)
Stick Man (2008)
Tiddler (2009)
Tabby McTat (2009)
Zog (2010)
The Highway Rat (2011)
The Scarecrows’ Wedding (2014)
Zog and the Flying Doctors (2016)
The Ugly Five (2017)
The Smeds and the Smoos (2019)

Tales from Acorn Wood series:
Fox’s Socks (2003)
Rabbit’s Nap (2003)
Hide-and-Seek Pig (2003)
Postman Bear (2003)
Friends (2019)


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21st April 2016

The Gruffalo

A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood.A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.Walk further into the dee... MoreThe Gruffalo

(378 reviews) Review
1st September 2002

Room on the Broom

The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away ... MoreRoom on the Broom

(343 reviews) Review
5th September 2003

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 decid... MoreThe Smartest Giant in Town

(233 reviews) Review
7th September 2009

Stick Man

'Stick Man lives in the family tree With his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three'. But it's dangerous being a... MoreStick Man

(159 reviews) Review
21st April 2016

The Gruffalo's Child

Join the Gruffalo's Child for a BIG adventure in this clever sequel to much-loved modern classic, The Gruffalo, from the... MoreThe Gruffalo's Child

(157 reviews) Review
21st April 2016

The Snail and the Whale

"How I long to sail!" said the tiny snail.The Snail and the Whale is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship by th... MoreThe Snail and the Whale

(151 reviews) Review
6th September 2012


  Meet the wiggliest, squiggliest superhero in the world in the funny picture book by the number one bests... MoreSuperworm

(146 reviews) Review
4th June 2004

A Squash and a Squeeze

''Wise old man, won't you help me, please? My house is a squash and squeeze.'' What can you do if your house is... MoreA Squash and a Squeeze

(132 reviews) Review
1st January 2011

Tales From Acorn Wood: Fox's Socks

"Poor old fox has lost his socks. He looks in a chest and finds a vest." Can you help fox find his socks? Are they in th... MoreTales From Acorn Wood: Fox's Socks

(132 reviews) Review
21st April 2016

Monkey Puzzle

"I've lost my mum!"Where is Monkey's mummy? It's not too much fun being lost in the jungle, and little monkey wants his ... MoreMonkey Puzzle

(110 reviews) Review
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