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Posts tagged ‘Julia Donaldson’

The Singing Mermaid


By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by: Lydia Monks

The Singing Mermaid loves to sing for an audience. The sea creatures adore her. Sam Sly is a wicked circus owner who lures the Singing Mermaid away from her friends to join the circus. The crowds love her but she isn’t happy living in a fish tank rather than the ocean. She needs to figure out how to escape back to her ocean home of SIlversands. How can she do this when she has a tail and no leg? It is a good thing she is friends with a clever seagull and a talented acrobat.

A fun rhyming story that is full of drama as first the mermaid is lured away and then tries to return home. A wonderfully entertaining tale from the writer of The Gruffalo and the creative team that gave us the best selling What the Ladybird Heard. I’m yet to come across a Donaldson book that is a miss rather than a hit.


Publisher: MacMillan Children’s Books

Published: 04 November 2013

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Mermaids

ISBN 13: 9781447210856

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Room on the Broom

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by: Axel Scheffler

The witch and her cat start out on a journey on the broom. Along the way she loses a few things and gains some companions. This turns out to be a wonderful thing because when a dragon decides he wants the witch for tea her new friends come to the rescue in the strangest way.

Another fun outing from the magical pairing of  Donaldson and Scheffler. A fun rhyming tale and an entertaining story of helping and friendship. Originally published 10 years ago it is still full of appeal. You can’t really make a mistake picking up a book written by this pair.

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Published: 20 September 2002

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animals, Witches, Picture Books

ISBN 13: 9780333903384

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Cave Baby

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated By: Emily Gravett

Cave Baby’s daddy is brave, his mummy is good at painting but Cave Baby is bored. Then he finds a paintbrush but his work is not appreciated and he is told to behave or the mammoth will throw him to the big brown bear. Then at night the mammoth comes and Cave Baby is afraid but it is not what he thinks and he finally gets to have fun.

This is a wonderful tale of imagination and allowing children to express their creativity. Donaldson’s rhyming text, as always, is wonderfully expressive and is paired this time with Gravatt’s beautifully appealing illustrations. This has less text than some of her books but is a great addition to the bookshelf for your younger readers.

You can’t really go wrong with a Donaldson book.

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Published: 01 June 2011

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Imagination, Cave People, Creativity

ISBN 13: 9780330522762

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Night Monkey, Day Monkey

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated By: Lucy Richards

Night Monkey wakes up when it gets dark and wants to play. Day Monkey chases after him and sees so many things he doesn’t understand. Day Monkey prefers to play when it is light and when Night Monkey decided to play with him he sees so many things he doesn’t understand. Night Monkey and Day Monkey live in very different worlds, what one loves scares the other, but they learn about their opposite worlds and find a way to be friends.

This is a charming story of opposites and discovery. The confusion makes for a fun, entertaining and even educational read. Richards’ illustrations are simple and delightful. Less text than some of Donaldson’s books makes this one perfect for younger children.

Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd

Published: 01 April 2002

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animal Stories, Learning, Opposites

ISBN 13: 9780749748937

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

The Highway Rat

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrations: Axel Scheffler

Beware if you are out on the highway for along the highway rides the Highway Rat. The Highway Rat loves to steal travelers food, it doesn’t matter what, he just wants it. Then, as is wont to happen to baddies like him, he comes across someone a bit smarter. You’ll have to read the book to find out what happens next.

Okay I will say it, this is awesome. I didn’t read the author blurb on the back cover before reading the story and I was only a few stanzas in when I was transported back to a time I learnt a poem called ‘The Highwayman’ by Alfred Noyes. Donaldson says she was inspired by it and has kept true to its style – cadence and structure of the original. Of course the theme is is much more child friendly than the original, it is though a great take on the older poem. This version is filled with plenty of animals and silly goings on.

As always Scheffler’s distinctive illustrations fit the text perfectly, they are as fun and appealing as the text. It could also be a good way to interest young readers in poetry, though perhaps stick with something more child friendly than Noyes (my father was fond of Banjo Patterson).

Another winner.

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Poetry, Picture Books, Animal Stories

ISBN 13: 9781407124377

 Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page


By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrations: Axel Scheffler

Zog is in Dragon School. He is the keenest of dragons and he learns his lessons and he practices loads. Zog though is also quite accident prone. Lucky for him there is a young girl around to offer help every time he does something like fly into a tree or set his own wings on fire. With all these accidents will Zog ever get a gold star.

Yet another wonderful picture book from the award winning team of Donaldson and Scheffler (this one was a winner of the Galaxy National Children’s Book of the Year, 2010) It is a wonderfully fun and entertaining story accompanied by the great, textured and distinctive Scheffler illustrations. It is a story of trying and learning and also pushing against stereotypes (the wonderful princess character for example). Another must have book for your collection.

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Fiction, Dragons, School

ISBN 13: 9781407115597

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Tabby McTat

By: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Tabby McTat has a miaow that is loud and strong so it is a good thing he is a buskers cat. Tabby and Fred sing together for their money. One day Tabby goes for a stroll and while he is away something happens to Fred, when Tabby gets back Fred isn’t there. He waits and waits and still no Fred. He is taken is by some humans but still searches for Fred. It seems the two of them may never sing together again.

This is a cute little tale from the people who gave us The Gruffalo. The illustrations are wonderful and Scheffler’s distinctive style works so well with Donaldson’s storytelling. The text itself is simple yet well detailed and complex enough (while not being complicated in any way) to keep a kindy or preschool reader engaged. This is a great story about the power of friendship. This is a author/illustrator pairing that just works so well.

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Published: 06 September 2010

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animals Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781407109275

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of the page

Julia Donaldson New Children’s Laureate UK

Author of best selling children’s picture books Julia Donaldson has been appointed the new Children’s Laureate. She is taking over from illustrator Anthony Browne for a two year term. 

Some of her most well known books are; The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, The Snail and the Whale and Sharing a Shell.

She is the seventh to hold this position and previous laureate’s include; Quentin Blake, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson.

During her term she isn’t planning on sitting back and relaxing, according to the Guardian UK report she is ‘planning to have quite an active two years. I’m hoping to bring some drama and music to the job. I always act out my own stories with lots of audience participation so I’m planning to do lots more of that. I hope to encourage and inspire children to act stories out’.

The Gruffalo

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated By: Axel Scheffler

While a little mouse was taking a little stroll through the woods, he comes face to face with a fox, an owl and a snake. Mouse is clever though and is able to see a trick when it is in front of him so he invents the Gruffalo, a big, scary monster. What happens though when he finds out the Gruffalo is real and also wants to eat him?

This is a charming story about a very smart little mouse. There is enough text to keep the kindy/pre-primary reader interested and the story is simple and entertaining enough for younger readers. The illustrations are detailed and fun, presenting the story in a wonderfully visual way. It is easy to see why this book is a perennial favourite.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Published: 27 August 1999

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Picture Books Fiction General

ISBN 13: 9780333710937

Purchase: here

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