Julia Donaldson is an English writer and playwright, and the 2011–2013 Children's Laureate. She is best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, especially those illustrated by Axel Scheffler, which include The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man.
Donaldson was born and brought up in Hampsted, London and studied in Bristol including training to be a teacher.
In 2011, Donaldson was appointed Children's Laureate. In keeping with her interest in acting and singing Donaldson has set out to encourage children to perform poetry, plays and dramatised readings to generate a love of books and of reading.
In her laureate role Donaldson campaigned passionately against library cuts and closures, writing articles, meeting ministers and embarking on a 6-week tour of UK libraries in autumn 2012. In all of the 38 libraries the visiting children were requested to perform a short play or song based on a picture book, as well as joining in Donaldson's own stories and songs. The tour was designed to celebrate libraries but also to generate publicity about the plight of some of them.
Donaldson is a patron of ArtLink Central, a charity which places artists in disadvantaged communities, and of Bookbug, a programme which gifts over 500,000 books to children aged 0–5 in Scotland every year, encouraging parents to share books with their children from birth. In addition she is a patron of Storybook Dads, a UK charity which helps serving prisoners to send recordings of themselves reading bedtime stories to their children in order to maintain connections with some of the 200,000 children affected by parental imprisonment. She is also patron of Monmouth's Savoy Cinema.
Donaldson was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to literature.She was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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