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Julia Donaldson Books

Julia Donaldson is one of our top-selling authors. With iconic books like The Gruffalo and Cave Baby, it’s not hard to see why. Her picture books with illustrators like Lydia Monks, Nick Sharrat, and particularly long-time collaborator Axel Scheffler have been bestsellers for over twenty years - and with good reason.

With their wonderful rhymes and delightful stories, Julia Donaldson’s books are a great choice if you want to read aloud with your child. The illustrations are always funny and imaginative and bring the fantastical characters to life. Once you’ve met Zog and The Highway Rat, you’ll never forget them. If you’ve watched the films, or gone to see the stage shows, you must get the books.

At Books2Door, we stock a wide range of Julia Donaldson’s books, essential for any picture book library. We’ve got everything from The Scarecrow’s Wedding to Tyrannosaurus Drip. Our comprehensive selection will ensure that you’ll be able to find the right Julia Donaldson book for your child.


The Gruffalo at Books2Door

Picture books

Julia Donaldson’s most famous story is The Gruffalo. A mouse walking through the forest has to evade being eaten by some fearsome predators. To scare them off, he tells each in turn that he’s on his way to eat with his friend, the fearsome Gruffalo. The mouse doesn’t think the Gruffalo exists, or does it? Children across the world love this modern classic. It’s been made into a hit BBC One animated film, a stage play, and a ride at Chessington World of Adventures.

Find The Gruffalo and more in The Julia Donaldson Story Collection. It contains ten of her most famous books, including Room on the Broom, Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book, The Snail and the Whale and The Gruffalo’s Child. Seven of these are collaborations with Axel Scheffler, and there’s one book each with David Roberts, Emily Gravett and Rebecca Cobb.

The Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler 10 Book Collection includes their most recent collaborations. Remarkable stories like Stick Man, The Highway Rat, Superworm, The Smeeds and the Smoos, and Zog and the Flying Doctors feature in this great value pack. There’s no overlap between these two collections, so why not get both?

You can also get The Julia Donaldson Collection across 10 CDs. It features readings of some of her best-loved stories, as well as her album The Gruffalo Song and Other Songs. It’s a perfect accompaniment for car journeys, bedtimes, and many other occasions.

We stock many of her other picture books, either individually or in packs. What the Ladybird Heard, Sugarlump and the Unicorn, and her other collaborations with Lydia Monks are very popular with young readers. There’s Spinderella, the spider with a passion for football. Or how about Night Monkey Day Monkey, which is perfect for toddlers?

There’s Julia Donaldson’s Songbirds for children learning to read, part of the Read with Oxford line. Part of the bestselling reading scheme, these books will take children from phonics right up to becoming confident, independent readers. They’re the perfect accompaniment to the Biff, Chip & Kipper series.

There’s a Julia Donaldson book for every child aged 0-5. It’s not really a case of which one should you choose, but which one first?

Julia Donaldson 10 Book Collection 

About the author

Julia Donaldson was born Julia Shields in 1948 in Hampstead, London. It was a musical household - both of her parents were in the Hampstead Music Club. Her mother sang, and her father played the cello. During her childhood, Donaldson acted at the Old Vic, played the piano, and sang with the Children’s Opera Group. By the age of 19, she was conversant in French, German and Italian. During her studies in the 60s, she lived in Bristol and Paris and met her future husband, Malcolm Donaldson.

After graduating from Bristol University in 1970 with a 2:1 in Drama and French, Donaldson had various jobs throughout the 70s, sometimes simultaneously. Primarily she wrote songs for BBC Children’s Television, for shows such as Play Away, Play School and Watch With Mother. She also worked as an editor for publishers including Michael Joseph and Robert Tyndall. In 1974 she moved to Brighton and performed in the local folk club scene with Malcolm. She devised plays for children, ran a Saturday-morning workshop, and composed two children’s musicals. She worked for Radio Bristol and for two years as a teacher until 1978 - her last full-time employment. Their first son, Hamish, was born in 1978.

Work was slow during the 1980s. Alastair was born in 1981, and the family moved to Bristol in 1983. Donaldson wrote topical songs for the radio, did street theatre and amateur acting, and volunteered in Hamish’s primary school by devising plays for the reading group. Jerry came along in 1987, and they moved near Glasgow in 1989.

Julia Donaldson was commissioned for more songs for BBC programmes in the 1990s. More significantly, she was asked to adapt her 1975 song “A Squash and a Squeeze” as a picture book with illustrator Axel Scheffler. It was published in 1993 and led to Donaldson’s writing career. She published her plays for children from the 80s and wrote extensively for educational publishers.

In 1999 Donaldson and Scheffler published The Gruffalo, which was an overnight success. The duo has since published over 25 books together, some of which have been made into films, plays, and musicals. The Gruffalo was a life-changing success and completely altered the course of Donaldson’s career. She has since won multiple awards, served as children’s laureate, and written many more books for her legion of fans worldwide.

Donaldson has also published CDs, plays, picture books, books for older children and teenagers, poetry books, and educational books. She’s written over 200 books - over half for educational use in schools and at home. Donaldson often performs her work at book festivals and theatres, encouraging children to join in with the storytelling. New books are coming out every year, and Donaldson is as enthusiastic as ever about children’s literacy and the value of a good story. So we’ll hopefully be enjoying her singular creative talent for some time yet.