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Julia Catherine Donaldson (1948-), Writer and playwright; Children's Laureate 2011-2013

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Author, playwright and performer; Donaldson wrote songs for BBC Children's Television before publishing her first book, A Squash and a Squeeze in 1993. German artist Axel Scheffler has illustrated many of her books including, most famously, The Gruffalo (1999). Donaldson was appointed Children's Laureate in 2011 and has campaigned against the closure of public libraries, participating in public readings and performances at locations across the UK. Donaldson developed deafness in her early twenties and wears a hearing aid. She is a supporter of promoting signing stories for deaf children and likes to explore the ways performance can help all children enjoy reading and grow in confidence.