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Julia Donaldson

  • 5 stars across 583 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 movies 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.  

    Julia has written over 150 books, including the Songbird phonics reading scheme (part of the Oxford Reading Tree), which is used in schools. She is well known for her younger children’s books and poems (e.g. Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum for ages 5-7; Wriggle and Roar for pre-school; The Paper Dolls book and CD) but 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 Smeds and The Smoods, a picture book love story about two aliens, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, came out in September 2019.

    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. 
    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
    We also love the Julia Donaldson collection in audio, with many brilliant readers such as Imelda Staunton and Alexander Armstrong.

    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)
    27th December 2018

    The Gruffalo 20th Anniversary Edition

    This special 20th anniversary edition of The Gruffalo is a must-have addition to the bookshelves of all Julia Dona... More

    (274 reviews)
    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 ... More

    (243 reviews)
    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... More

    (172 reviews)
    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... More

    (107 reviews)
    21st April 2016

    The Gruffalo's Child

    The Gruffalo said that no gruffalo should Ever set foot in the deep dark wood. But one wild and windy nigh... More

    (105 reviews)
    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 ... More

    (102 reviews)
    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... More

    (92 reviews)
    4th June 2004

    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 too small?... More

    (87 reviews)
    12th September 2013

    The Paper Dolls

    Read aloud by broadcaster Lauren Laverne, The Paper Dolls book and CD is a stunning, rhythmical story of childho... More

    (78 reviews)
    6th September 2012


    Superworm is super-long. Superworm is super-strong. Watch him wiggle! See him squirm! There's no other... More

    (78 reviews)
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