Julia Donaldson

Children's Laureate 2013-11

Julia Donaldson has worked with many different illustrators and written over a hundred books and plays for children and teenagers, in which her love of song and rhyme shines through. 

Julia Donaldson  worked for a few years in publishing and as a teacher, while also writing and performing songs and street theatre with her husband Malcolm, and writing and directing two musicals for children. She then combined a career writing songs for children’s television with bringing up a family.

In 1993, one of her songs was made into a book, A Squash and a Squeeze. Since then, she has written over a hundred books and plays for children and teenagers, including the award-winning rhyming stories The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, The Snail and the Whale and Zog, all illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which are among the UK’s best-selling picture books.

Julia has also worked with different illustrators, among them Lydia Monks, Nick Sharratt and David Roberts, and has written several young fiction titles, including three books about Princess Mirror-Belle, who is the badly-behaved reflection of a well-behaved girl. Her novel for teenagers, Running on the Cracks, came out in 2009 and won the Nasen Inclusive Children’s Book Award.

Julia is also the author of many educational books, including the 60 books that comprise the phonic reading scheme Songbirds. This series is part of the Oxford Reading Tree, published by Oxford University Press.

Julia still loves writing and singing songs, and has produced three books of these, each one with a CD on which she is accompanied by some great live musicians. Her passion for drama is kept fresh by her frequent dramatic performances at book festivals and theatrical events, where she talks, acts and sings with her audiences.

Julia is patron of the charity Artlink Central, which engages artists to work in hospitals, prisons and schools.

Some books by Julia Donaldson

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson, Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

In this much-loved picture book, a little mouse walks through the woods and encounters a fox, an owl and a snake.

Read more about The Gruffalo

The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Whale

Julia Donaldson, Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

This book by the award-winning Gruffalo partnership is about a tiny snail who longs to see the world, and the enormous grey-blue humpback whale who gives him a lift on his tail.

Read more about The Snail and the Whale

Tabby McTat

Tabby McTat

Julia Donaldson, Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

A poetic story of love, adventure and music that demands to be read aloud or possibly sung, depending on the power of the reader's purr.

Read more about Tabby McTat

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