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Julia Donaldson

Born in North London, Julia Donaldson now lives and works in Glasgow. While studying French and Drama at Bristol University, she met her future husband. During the 1960s, Donaldson and her husband toured Europe, busking to make ends meet. Her songs, often made up in the language she was visiting, lead to a career as a singer songwriter for children’s TV.

A Squash and a Squeeze, one of her songs, was published as a picture book in 1993, but it wasn’t until the publication of The Gruffalo that Donaldson hit the big time. Illustrated by Axel Scheffer, The Gruffalo remains the UK’s best-selling picture book, and has been translated worldwide (including into Scots Gaelic).

Donaldson has written over 70 books, many specifically for the school and education markets, as well as novels, plays and picture books. She regularly performs at book festivals and theatres, and for three years was the writer-in-residence at Easterhouse, Glasgow.

In 2011, Julia Donaldson was appointed the UK’s Children’s Laureate for a two-year term. She was also awarded an MBE for her services to literature.

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