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Julia Donaldson

Julia is the awardwinning, bestselling author of much-loved modern classics like The Gruffalo, Stick Man and What the Ladybird Heard. She was also the Children’s Laureate 2011-2013.

I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us.

I studied Drama and French at Bristol University, where I met Malcolm, a guitar-playing medic to whom I’m now married.

Before Malcolm and I had our three sons we used to go busking together and I would write special songs for each country; the best one was in Italian about pasta.

The busking led to a career in singing and songwriting, mainly for children’s television.

One of my television songs, A Squash and a Squeeze, was made into a book in 1993, with illustrations by the wonderful Axel Scheffler. It was great to hold the book in my hand without it vanishing in the air the way the songs did. This prompted me to unearth some plays I’d written for a school reading group, and since then I’ve had 20 plays published.

My real breakthrough was The Gruffalo, again illustrated by Axel. We work separately – he’s in London and I’m in Glasgow – but he sends me letters with lovely funny pictures on the envelopes.

My novel The Giants and the Joneses is going to be made into a film by the same team who made the Harry Potter movies, and I have written three books of stories about the anarchic Princess Mirror-Belle who appears from the mirror and disrupts the life of an otherwise ordinary eight-year-old.

When I’m not writing I am often performing, at book festivals and in theatres. I really enjoy getting the children in the audience to help me act out the stories and sing the songs.

Books by Julia Donaldson

  • A Squash and a Squeeze

    A Squash and a Squeeze

  • A Squash and a Squeeze

    A Squash and a Squeeze

  • Cave Baby

    Cave Baby

  • Charlie Cook's Favourite Book

    Charlie Cook's Favourite Book

  • Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose

    Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose

  • Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum

    Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum

  • Follow the Swallow

    Follow the Swallow

  • Gruffalo Explorers: The Gruffalo - Autumn Nature Trail

    Gruffalo Explorers: The Gruffalo - Autumn Nature Trail

  • Gruffalo Explorers: The Gruffalo Spring Nature Trail

    Gruffalo Explorers: The Gruffalo Spring Nature Trail

  • Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book

    Gruffalo, What Can You See? Buggy Book

  • Hello Gruffalo! Buggy Book

    Hello Gruffalo! Buggy Book

  • Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Reward Chart

    Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler Reward Chart

  • Julia Donaldson's Phonics Story Collection

    Julia Donaldson's Phonics Story Collection

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Alphabet Games

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Alphabet Games

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Leroy and Other Stories

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Leroy and Other Stories

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 1

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 1

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 2

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 2

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 3

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 3

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 4

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Phonics Activity Book 4

  • Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Top Cat and Other Stories

    Julia Donaldson's Songbirds: Top Cat and Other Stories

  • Let's Read! Room on the Broom

    Let's Read! Room on the Broom

  • Let's Read! The Gruffalo

    Let's Read! The Gruffalo

  • Let's Read! The Princess and the Wizard

    Let's Read! The Princess and the Wizard

  • Let's Read! The Snail and the Whale

    Let's Read! The Snail and the Whale

  • Let's Read! Tyrannosaurus Drip

    Let's Read! Tyrannosaurus Drip

  • Let's Read! What the Ladybird Heard

    Let's Read! What the Ladybird Heard

  • Little Gems: Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door

    Little Gems: Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door

  • Little Gems: The Snake Who Came to Stay

    Little Gems: The Snake Who Came to Stay

  • Monkey Puzzle

    Monkey Puzzle

  • Monkey Puzzle

    Monkey Puzzle

  • My First Gruffalo: Can You Count? Jigsaw Book

    My First Gruffalo: Can You Count? Jigsaw Book

  • My First Gruffalo: Can You See? Jigsaw Book

    My First Gruffalo: Can You See? Jigsaw Book

  • My First Gruffalo: Colours

    My First Gruffalo: Colours

  • My First Gruffalo: Little Library

    My First Gruffalo: Little Library

  • My First Gruffalo: Numbers

    My First Gruffalo: Numbers

  • Night Monkey, Day Monkey

    Night Monkey, Day Monkey

  • One Mole Digging a Hole

    One Mole Digging a Hole

  • Princess Mirror-Belle

    Princess Mirror-Belle

  • Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox

    Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox

  • Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox

    Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox

  • Room on the Broom

    Room on the Broom

  • Room on the Broom

    Room on the Broom

  • Room on the Broom (Board Book)

    Room on the Broom (Board Book)

  • Room on the Broom: Book and CD

    Room on the Broom: Book and CD

  • Sharing a Shell

    Sharing a Shell

  • Songbirds Phonics: Gran is Cross

    Songbirds Phonics: Gran is Cross

  • Songbirds Phonics: Splash and Squelch

    Songbirds Phonics: Splash and Squelch

  • Songbirds Phonics: The Big Match

    Songbirds Phonics: The Big Match

  • Songbirds Phonics: The Scrap Rocket

    Songbirds Phonics: The Scrap Rocket

  • Songbirds Phonics: The Shopping List

    Songbirds Phonics: The Shopping List

  • Songbirds Phonics: The Trunk and the Skunk

    Songbirds Phonics: The Trunk and the Skunk

  • Spinderella

    Spinderella

  • Spinderella

    Spinderella

  • Spinderella

    Spinderella

  • Stick Man

    Stick Man

  • Stick Man

    Stick Man

  • Stick Man

    Stick Man

  • Stick Man (Board Book)

    Stick Man (Board Book)

  • Stick Man (Board Book)

    Stick Man (Board Book)

  • Stick Man (Early Reader)

    Stick Man (Early Reader)

  • Stick Man’s First Words

    Stick Man’s First Words

  • Stick Man with FREE Mini Stick Man Activity and Puzzle Book

    Stick Man with FREE Mini Stick Man Activity and Puzzle Book

  • Stick Man with FREE Zog Mini Edition

    Stick Man with FREE Zog Mini Edition

  • Sugarlump and the Unicorn

    Sugarlump and the Unicorn

  • Sugarlump and the Unicorn

    Sugarlump and the Unicorn

  • Sugarlump and the Unicorn (Board Book)

    Sugarlump and the Unicorn (Board Book)

  • Superworm

    Superworm

  • Superworm

    Superworm

  • Superworm

    Superworm

  • Superworm (Board Book)

    Superworm (Board Book)

  • Superworm (Early Reader)

    Superworm (Early Reader)

  • Superworm Gift Edition Board Book

    Superworm Gift Edition Board Book

  • Tabby McTat

    Tabby McTat

  • Tabby McTat

    Tabby McTat

  • Tabby McTat

    Tabby McTat

  • Tabby McTat (Board Book)

    Tabby McTat (Board Book)

  • Tabby McTat (Board Book)

    Tabby McTat (Board Book)

  • Tabby McTat (Early Reader)

    Tabby McTat (Early Reader)

  • Tales from Acorn Wood: Colours

    Tales from Acorn Wood: Colours

  • Tales from Acorn Wood: Counting

    Tales from Acorn Wood: Counting

  • Tales from Acorn Wood: Fox’s Socks

    Tales from Acorn Wood: Fox’s Socks

  • Tales from Acorn Wood: Rabbit's Nap

    Tales from Acorn Wood: Rabbit's Nap

  • The Detective Dog

    The Detective Dog

  • The Giants and the Joneses

    The Giants and the Joneses

  • The Gruffalo

    The Gruffalo

  • The Gruffalo

    The Gruffalo

  • The Gruffalo Activity Book

    The Gruffalo Activity Book

  • The Gruffalo (Board Book)

    The Gruffalo (Board Book)

  • The Gruffalo (Board Book)

    The Gruffalo (Board Book)

  • The Gruffalo Book and CD

    The Gruffalo Book and CD

  • The Gruffalo's Child

    The Gruffalo's Child

  • The Gruffalo's Child (Board Book)

    The Gruffalo's Child (Board Book)

  • The Gruffalo’s Child: Book and CD

    The Gruffalo’s Child: Book and CD

  • The Gruffalo's Child Magnet Book

    The Gruffalo's Child Magnet Book

  • The Gruffalo with FREE The Gruffalo's Child Mini Edition

    The Gruffalo with FREE The Gruffalo's Child Mini Edition

  • The Highway Rat

    The Highway Rat

  • The Highway Rat

    The Highway Rat

  • The Highway Rat

    The Highway Rat

  • The Highway Rat Activity Book

    The Highway Rat Activity Book

  • The Highway Rat (Board Book)

    The Highway Rat (Board Book)

  • The Highway Rat (Early Reader)

    The Highway Rat (Early Reader)

  • The Highway Rat (Hardback)

    The Highway Rat (Hardback)

  • The Princess and the Wizard

    The Princess and the Wizard

  • The Rhyming Rabbit

    The Rhyming Rabbit

  • The Rhyming Rabbit

    The Rhyming Rabbit

  • The Scarecrows' Wedding

    The Scarecrows' Wedding

  • The Scarecrows' Wedding

    The Scarecrows' Wedding

  • The Scarecrows' Wedding

    The Scarecrows' Wedding

  • The Scarecrows' Wedding (Board Book)

    The Scarecrows' Wedding (Board Book)

  • The Scarecrows’ Wedding (Early Reader)

    The Scarecrows’ Wedding  (Early Reader)

  • The Singing Mermaid

    The Singing Mermaid

  • The Singing Mermaid

    The Singing Mermaid

  • The Singing Mermaid (Board Book)

    The Singing Mermaid (Board Book)

  • The Singing Mermaid Sticker Book

    The Singing Mermaid Sticker Book

  • The Smartest Giant in Town

    The Smartest Giant in Town

  • The Smartest Giant in Town (15th Anniversary Edition)

    The Smartest Giant in Town (15th Anniversary Edition)

  • The Snail and the Whale

    The Snail and the Whale

  • The Stick Man Activity Book

    The Stick Man Activity Book

  • The Stick Man Sticker Activity Book

    The Stick Man Sticker Activity Book

  • The Tiddler Activity Book

    The Tiddler Activity Book

  • The Tiddler Sticker Activity Book

    The Tiddler Sticker Activity Book

  • The Ugly Five

    The Ugly Five

  • The Zog Activity Book

    The Zog Activity Book

  • The Zog Sticker Activity Book

    The Zog Sticker Activity Book

  • Three Tales from Acorn Wood Box Set

    Three Tales from Acorn Wood Box Set

  • Tiddler

    Tiddler

  • Tiddler

    Tiddler

  • Tiddler

    Tiddler

  • Tiddler (Board Book)

    Tiddler (Board Book)

  • Tiddler (Board Book)

    Tiddler (Board Book)

  • Tiddler (Early Reader)

    Tiddler (Early Reader)

  • Toddle Waddle

    Toddle Waddle

  • Toddle Waddle (Board Book)

    Toddle Waddle (Board Book)

  • Tyrannosaurus Drip

    Tyrannosaurus Drip

  • Tyrannosaurus Drip (10th Anniversary Edition)

    Tyrannosaurus Drip (10th Anniversary Edition)

  • What the Jackdaw Saw

    What the Jackdaw Saw

  • What the Ladybird Heard

    What the Ladybird Heard

  • What the Ladybird Heard Next

    What the Ladybird Heard Next

  • What the Ladybird Heard Next

    What the Ladybird Heard Next

  • Zog

    Zog

  • Zog

    Zog

  • Zog and the Flying Doctors

    Zog and the Flying Doctors

  • Zog and the Flying Doctors (Hardback)

    Zog and the Flying Doctors (Hardback)

  • Zog (Board Book)

    Zog (Board Book)

  • Zog (Early Reader)

    Zog (Early Reader)

  • Zog (Gift Edition Board Book)

    Zog (Gift Edition Board Book)

  • Zog (Hardback)

    Zog (Hardback)

Awards

Julia has won many major book prizes, including the Smarties and Blue Peter Awards for The Gruffalo, the Blue Peter and Sheffield Children’s Book Prizes for Room on the Broom, the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year for The Gruffalo’s Child and the Red House Award for Super Worm. Julia was also the Children’s Laureate 2011-2013.