- 1. Career
Julia Catherine Donaldson is an English writer and playwright, and the 2011–2013 Children's Laureate. She is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, especially those illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which include The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man. She originally wrote songs for children's television but has concentrated on writing books since the words of one of her songs, "A Squash and a Squeeze", were made into a children's book in 1993. Of her 184 published works, 64 are widely available in bookshops. The remaining 120 are intended for school use and include her Songbirds phonic reading scheme, which is part of the Oxford University Press's Oxford Reading Tree.
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 films on the BBC, such as The Highway Rat, Stick Man and The Gruffalo. The 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.
She has written over 150 books, including the Julia Donaldson Songbirds (readers that are part of the Oxford Reading Tree), which is used in schools. Aside from her picture books, Julia Donaldson's poems are also immensely popular (e.g. Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum for ages 5-7; Wriggle and Roar for pre-school; The Paper Dolls book and CD) and 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 Teeny Weeny Genie, illustrated by Anna Currey, came out in July 2020.