Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson Carmel King

Julia Donaldson is the author of more than fifty books and plays for children, including One Ted Falls Out of Bed, The Snail and the WhaleThe Gruffalo, winner of the Smarties Book Prize, and Tyrannosaurus Drip, a picture book from Feiwel and Friends. She grew up in London and now lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with her family.



  • David Roberts on Tyrannosaurus Drip

    Illustrator David Roberts discusses his work on the children's book, Tyrannosaurus Drip.



  • Julia Donaldson Carmel King

Q & A


  1. What did you want to be when you grew up?


When I was five I wrote a lot of poems and wanted to be a poet, but later on I became stage-struck and planned a career in the theatre.


  1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?


It just kind of happened – I used to sing in the streets to earn money, and that led to songwriting, which in turn led to book-writing. But I still enjoy performing as much as writing, and often put on shows based on my books and songs.


  1. What’s your first childhood memory?


Climbing through a hole in a fence – into the unknown!


  1. What was your worst subject in school?


Games – I used to daydream and miss the ball.


  1. What was your first job?


Working for a London publisher. Officially I was a secretary; actually I edited half the manuscripts but was only allowed to meet the authors in the role of tea girl.


  1. Where do you write your books?


I have a little study, but I do lots of the writing in my head when I’m in the bath or out for a walk.


  1. Where do you find inspiration for your writing?


Anywhere and everywhere: things that happen to my children; memories of my own childhood; things people say; places I go to; old folk tales and fairy stories. The hard part for me is not getting the idea, it is turning it into a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.


  1. Which of your characters is most like you?


Princess Mirror-Belle. There are 3 books about this naughty reflection who comes out of a mirror and claims that she is a princess with magical powers. (I used to tell my younger sister that I was a fairly in disguise.)  


  1. When you finish a book, who reads it first?


My husband reads everything I write when he gets home from work. We read it aloud to each other. He also acts characters in my stage shows and is a terrific support.


  1. Are you a morning person or a night owl?


A night owl.


  1. Which do you like better: cats or dogs?


Cats, though I get fed up with my three when they sit on the space bar of my computer and I suddenly discover I have a 2,000-page-long document.


  1. Where do you go for peace and quiet?


Out to the Scottish hills and lochs for a long walk.


  1. What time of the year do you like best?


The merry month of May.


  1. What is your worst habit?


Playing Spider Solitaire on the computer when I should be writing.


  1. What do you wish you could do better?




  1. What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?


It’s a secret.



What the Ladybug Heard

Julia Donaldson; illustrations by Lydia Monks

Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan: they’ll sneak past all the animals and steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they forget all about the tiniest, quietest creature...


Running on the Cracks

Julia Donaldson

Leo’s running from her past. Finlay’s running into trouble. Together, they stumble into a crazy new world of secrets, lies, and Chinese food. But someone is on Leo’s...


The Giants and the Joneses

Julia Donaldson; Illustrated by Greg Swearingen

The Joneses are about to be kidnapped by giants!