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In light of Julia Donaldson (author of The Gruffalo) taking part in the Scottish Friendly Children’s Book Tour in September of this year, I took a look through my kid’s bookshelves again.

I have spent many happy bedtimes reading her stories to my kids.  And I was surprised to find out that I had been reading books for years that I wasn’t even aware were written by the famous author of The Gruffalo.

Julia’s storybooks are similar to the equally brilliant Dr Seuss books in that the rhymes and rhythms of the stories seem to lull children into a somnambulant state. And believe me, that is just what a parent wants at eight o’clock on a Tuesday night.

Coupled with the illustrations of German illustrator, Axel Scheffler, the books make for a great all round package and are very popular with children of all ages.

The Gruffalo is Julia’s best selling and most famous book. It has won numerous awards and was adapted into an animated film, which was broadcast on Christmas Day 2009.

We have had a copy in the house for as long as I can remember. In fact, we currently have two copies. I think we must have been given one as a present when our eldest was still very young. And the second one turned up somewhere along the way.

I remember being told how great The Gruffalo was and just in general, seem to remember hearing a lot about it. In fact at the time of writing it has a 5 star rating on Amazon with 311 customer reviews. That’s a lot for a children’s book.

If you haven’t read the story, I’ll try not to spoil it for you, but it’s about a mouse. A mouse that, in order to stop being eating by other woodland creatures, tells a lot of stories about his so-called friend, The Gruffalo.

However, enough about The Gruffalo. It’s a great story but there are many other less well-known titles from this author that are just as good if not better.

Stories about all the good stuff that children should hear about. Stories about sharing, friendship and being happy.

So here are my top 3 favourite Julia Donaldson storybooks of all time.

A Squash and a Squeeze

A simple story of a lady who lives in a very small house turns out to be a moral tale for our times.

Moral of the story: Maybe sometimes it’s best to look at what you have and be thankful rather than to be always wanting for something more.

Sharing a Shell

Three sea creatures brave the hardships of living in a rock pool on a beach. At first they don’t get along, but soon realize that they need each other more than they thought.

Moral of the story: It’s good to share.

Tabby McTat

Tabby McTat is a cat with a busker friend called Fred.  But the two are separated when a thief steals Fred’s money. This leads to an unexpected adventure for Tabby. A lovely story about friendship and loyalty with an unexpected ending!

Moral of the story: Friendship and loyalty are important.

For more information on the Scottish Book Tour, visit the Scottish Book Trust website.

You can also keep up to date and interact on our Meet the Authors Facebook page.

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