Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Author and illustrator of The Gruffalo, Winner:2000-2001 Big 3 Book Award, age group 5-7

Julia Donaldson was born and grew up in North London. The first story Julia remembers writing was about a rabbit, when she was five. After graduating from Bristol University, Julia made a career out of song-writing, and worked for the BBC writing songs for children's television for numerous years, including Playdays. During this time she had already written a number of educational books, and a song she had written became the book A Squash and a Squeeze, with illustrations from Axel Scheffler.

This author/ illustrator partnership has led to other successes, such as The Gruffalo - 'A modern classic' (Observer). Julia Donaldson now lives in Glasgow with her husband and three sons. She is occupied full time writing children's books, songs, and plays and visiting schools and libraries to hold drama and storytelling workshops. She is also writer in residence for Easterhouse.

Illustrator Axel Scheffler was born in Hamburg, Germany and won his first drawing prize at the age of 8 - his prize was a cuddly lilac cow. He came to England in 1982 to study at The Bath Academy of Art. On graduating, he worked in both the advertising and publishing worlds and, as a result, his illustrations have come to be known in books and magazines world wide, and to be loved by children and adults alike. He has received numerous prizes for his artwork and was a judge for the annual Macmillan Prize for Illustration. He has collaborated with Julia Donaldson on most of her highly successful children's titles, including the highly acclaimed The Gruffalo and their new 2001 title Room on the Broom.

The Gruffalo won the Smarties Gold Award for Picture Books in 1999 and was the Best Book to Read Aloud at the first Blue Peter awards in November 2000. Young judges commented that they believed that within a few years no child would have to grow up without knowing and loving The Gruffalo.

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