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Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented prize-winning author of some of the world's best-loved children's books, including modern classics The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, which together have sold over 17 million copies worldwide, and the hugely successful What the Ladybird Heard adventures. Julia also writes fiction, including the Princess Mirror-Belle books illustrated by Lydia Monks, as well as poems, plays and songs – and her brilliant live shows are always in demand. She was Children’s Laureate 2011-13 and has been honoured with an MBE for Services to Literature. Julia and her husband Malcolm divide their time between West Sussex and Edinburgh. She has collaborated with artists such as Sara Ogilvie, David Roberts, and on her book Animalphabet with Sharon King-Chai.
Click here to read a Q & A with Julia.
Author photo © Steve Ullathorne
A celebration of dogs and books alike, Julia Donaldson employs typically sparkling rhyme to tell the story of Peter – a very nice child though he could have been neater – and his dog, ‘known far and wide as Detective Dog Nell’. When not sniffing out Peter’s mislaid clothes and toys, Nell loves to spend time at his school listening to the children read stories to her. When disaster strikes and the books are stolen, Nell tracks down the culprit in no time then leads the thief to the library instead – a happy ending all round. A satisfying, action-filled story perfectly told, and Sara Ogilvy’s illustrations are full of character. This edition comes with an audio CD, read by actress and singer Floella Benjamin, to read along to. ~ Andrea Reece Shortlisted for the Children's category of the Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2016
A special 10th Anniversary Edition of this modern classic. A mix up with eggs has a placid duckbill dinosaur being brought up by T-Rex’s – clearly this causes hilarious problems. With Julia Donaldson’s irresistible, rollicking rhyming text and David Roberts’ glorious illustration, this bold and brilliant picture book crackles with wit. Julia Donaldson says: If you’d like some hints on acting out the story at home or in a classroom,you could take a look at www.picturebookplays.co.uk, which is a website I created when I was the Children’s Laureate and which has lots of ideas for dramatising picture books. You can even see a video of a class performing Tyrannosaurus Drip.
Four favourite stories from Julian Donaldson and Lydia Monks are included on this cd together. Ideal listening for long car journeys! A review for What the Ladybird Heard: Bestselling author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks have teamed up for another brilliant picture book. Right in the farmyard among all the noisy animals with their MOOs! and QUACKS! and BAAs! and OINKs! lives a tiny silent ladybird. This beautiful glittery creature (little fingers will love to feel her sparkly shape) is so quiet that she hears two crafty robbers plotting to raid the farmyard. And she comes up with a very clever plan to stop them, helped by the very noisy animals all around her. A wonderful adventure with gorgeous stylised illustrations. ~ Julia Eccleshare The other stories are: Sharing a Shell The Rhyming Rabbit The Princess and the Wizard
In their best-loved original adventure the Owl and the Pussy-Cat danced happily on the edge of the sand after their wedding. Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson now gives them an entertaining and original new adventure which also includes characters from the original such as the Dong with the luminous nose and the Pobble who has no toes. Charlotte Voake’s illustrations capture to invention of Edward Lear’s original creation as well as Julia Donaldson’s creative contemporary additions. ~ Julia Eccleshare Shortlisted for the Specsaver's National Book Awards: Children's Book Of The Year 2014.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2017 Award-winning duo Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks have created a brilliant new adventure for the clever Ladybird, star of What the Ladybird Heard. The Ladybird’s old adversaries, Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, are planning another dastardly crime. This time they are after the Queen’s crown and to get it they plan first to steal a monkey from the zoo. Can the Ladybird, who happens to be on holiday in the same place, stop them? Clever Ladybird comes up with a brilliant plan and, helped by some very noisy Zoo animals, she once again saves the day. Gloriously glittery pages add a sparkle to this delightful and witty story. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Donaldson says “In the last Ladybird story, I had ruled out the thieves returning to the farm, so I needed a different setting this time around. I wrote What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday while on a book tour in South Africa and the animals I saw there gave me the idea for the new adventure. I was excited when I discovered that the Royal corgis are called Holly and Willow, as I had already written a lot of the story and needed rhymes for ‘golly’ and ‘pillow’ - it seemed meant to be!” Lydia Monks says “I was so thrilled to get to go on holiday with the little ladybird! We meet some new friends and visit some new places. A perfect holiday treat!” Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for July 2017 What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks My Evil Twin is a Supervillain by David Solomons
A thrilling corkscrew of a novel that twists and turns weaving several strands of story into one compelling narrative, and the first novel from an established and bestselling picture book author for younger readers. Orphaned after the death of her parents in an air crash, Leo runs away from the aunt and uncle who are looking after her and makes her way to Glasgow to search for her grandparents. Rescued from the street by Mary who takes her in to join her collection of strange friends cared for by the community psychiatric nurse, Leo needs all the help she can get with her search. Findlay’s in trouble too, but he’s determined to help Leo in any way that he can. But someone out there is also after Leo. Can the children outwit their pursuers if they can remember not to step on the cracks?
“A mouse took a stroll through the deep dark wood. A fox saw the mouse and the mouse looked good.” So begins the story of how a clever little mouse outwits his big scary enemy. The tasty little mouse needs to make his way through the deep dark woods. How will he do it? By inventing the gruffalo, a fearsome creature with terrible claws, terrible tusks and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws. It’s a brilliant trick. The little mouse’s self-preservation is a witty scam that delights children time after time. ~ Julia Eccleshare Winner of the 2007 Prima Baby and Pregnancy Reader Awards Best Buy for Toddlers Award. For lots more information on the Gruffalo books, games and activities visit www.gruffalo.com
This wonderful picture book with brilliant rhyming text coupled with stunning illustrations will have you and your toddler laughing and laughing and laughing time and time again as you read and reread it because your child wants you to reread it again. ~ Julia Eccleshare For lots more information on the Gruffalo & Friends books, games and activities visit www.gruffalo.com
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s marvellous story of the scatty witch and her animal friends deserves a place on every child’s bookshelf. Julia Donaldson based the witch on herself – apparently she’s always dropping and losing things! This story is as much of a joy today as on publication, Donaldson’s jolly rhyming text perfectly paired with Scheffler’s equally lively illustrations. ~ Andrea Reece A Note from the Author The idea for Room on the Broom came about when I started to think about witches and cats. Witches in storybooks, you see, are almost always accompanied by cats and, of course, the cats often ride with the witches on the backs of their broomsticks. What would happen, I wondered, if a witch didn’t just have a cat but lots of animals? Would they all travel with her? How would they all fit onto a broomstick? And how much weight can one broom carry? And that’s where the basic storyline came from. There wasn’t a dragon in the original story, but once the broom had broken and everyone had tumbled to the ground I created him to add some more excitement and drama. And as to the trick that the animals play on the dragon to save the witch? Well, I think I must have been inspired by the story of “The Musicians of Bremen”. “The Musicians of Bremen” is a German folktale about four old animals – a donkey, a dog, a cat and a rooster – who come across a band of robbers in a cottage in some woods. They climb on one another’s backs and make a fearful din. The robbers are convinced that there must be a terrible creature outside and run away, leaving the animals to settle in for the evening. It’s a wonderful story and I am indebted to it because, although it was unconscious at the time, I think it must have been an inspiration. The witch herself though, is definitely based on me! I am quite scatty. When I was a child I was always dropping and losing things, just like the witch in Room on the Broom. In fact, I still do. I can remember seeing the first sketches that Axel drew of the witch and asking my editor if she could be made a bit younger and less tidy, and if her nose might be a bit smaller. She looked older, wartier and much neater than I’d thought of her when I was writing the story. But now, of course, I am extremely fond of the witch and couldn’t imagine her looking any other way. ~ Julia Donaldson
Julia Donaldson writes...A Squash and a Squeeze started its life as a song on BBC Children’s Television.The song was subsequently used on “Playdays” and included on a BBC album, sung by Floella Benjamin and Derek Griffiths. Unknown to me, a future editor of children’s books heard this recording when her children were small and she couldn’t get it out of her head. Thirteen years later she succeeded in tracking me down via the BBC. When she phoned to ask my permission to publish an illustrated version of my words I immediately agreed – while attempting to sound as if this sort of thing happened to me every day. I loved Axel’s pictures straight away. Axel Scheffler writes...A Squash and a Squeeze was only my second picture book. I recently learnt that before me, two other illustrators were asked to do the pictures, but perhaps they were too busy because they turned it down. If this is true, I have to be grateful to them, because this book started my long-term collaboration with Julia.