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Posted 20 hours ago

Spinderella

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I also continued to write “grown-up” songs and perform them in folk clubs and on the radio, and have recently released two CDs of these songs. Julia Donaldson does it again in this hugely engaging and funny story all about football, spiders and counting - what's not to love! The perfect picture book for children of all ages - boys and girls alike. I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Before Malcolm and I had our three sons we used to go busking together and I would write special songs for each country; the best one was in Italian about pasta. I studied Drama and French at Bristol University, where I met Malcolm, a guitar-playing medic to whom I’m now married. One of my television songs, A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE, was made into a book in 1993, with illustrations by the wonderful Axel Scheffler. It was great to hold the book in my hand without it vanishing in the air the way the songs did. This prompted me to unearth some plays I’d written for a school reading group, and since then I’ve had 20 plays published. Most children love acting and it’s a tremendous way to improve their reading.A fantastic new picture book all about a football-playing spider, written by Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, with glorious full colour illustrations from the talented Sebastian Braun and a sparkling, glittery foiled cover. Julia Donaldson is the internationally renowned author of the best-loved picture books in the world, including The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard, Sugarlump and the Unicorn and Night Monkey, Day Monkey. Julia Donaldson's collaborations with Axel Scheffler have sold millions of copies, and Room on the Broom is now an Academy Award-nominated short film.

Funnily enough, I find it harder to write not in verse, though I feel I am now getting the hang of it! My novel THE GIANTS AND THE JONESES is going to be made into a film by the same team who made the Harry Potter movies, and I have written three books of stories about the anarchic PRINCESS MIRROR-BELLE who appears from the mirror and disrupts the life of an otherwise ordinary eight-year-old. I have just finished writing a novel for teenagers.My real breakthrough was THE GRUFFALO, again illustrated by Axel. We work separately - he’s in London and I’m in Glasgow - but he sends me letters with lovely funny pictures on the envelopes.

I really enjoy writing verse, even though it can be fiendishly difficult. I used to memorise poems as a child and it means a lot to me when parents tell me their child can recite one of my books.

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