Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Axel Scheffler

  • 5 stars across 416 books
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

Additional Resources


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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

(381 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

(345 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

(235 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

(162 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

(158 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

(147 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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