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Julia Donaldson webchat, Wednesday 28 August, 9-10pm

(180 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 23-Aug-13 09:48:19

We're thrilled that acclaimed author and former Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson is our webchat guest on Wed 28 August.

A Squash and a Squeeze, The Gruffalo, Zog, Room on the Broom, Tiddler and a host of other best-loved books have endeared her to countless children.

Her latest book is The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-cat, in which she revisits Edward Lear's favourite rhyme, with beautiful illustrations by Charlotte Voake.

So, if you're a fan, please grab a glass or a cuppa and come and chat to Julia about her writing at 9pm on Wednesday.

And if you can't make the webchat itself, do post a question in advance.

As a taster, take a peek at this exclusive new Mumsnet video of Julia, and her husband Malcolm, singing their brand new Owl and the Pussy-cat song. (There are on-screen lyrics if you want to use it as a sing-a-long with little 'uns.)

RSVP Tue 27-Aug-13 11:45:26

Hi Julia,

Very big fans here too.

I am a bit unsure about the ubiquity of Gruffalo merchandise.

I appreciate that it probably supplements your income, but do you ever worry that it might escalate to Thomas the crap Tank Engine territory, i.e. overpriced, overdone etc, and distract from the brilliance of your books?

Thank you

MapofTassie Tue 27-Aug-13 12:16:18

Julia we love your books here (and the DVDs). DS1 was wondering if Stickman ever escapes from the Gruffalo's Child?

majjsu Tue 27-Aug-13 12:22:17

I love your books as much as my little girl. Her current favourites are Hippo Has A Hat and Chocolate Mousse For Greedy Goose.

What books did you love to read as a child?

threepiecesuite Tue 27-Aug-13 12:39:41

I have no question but just want to say a heartfelt thank you for writing The Paper Dolls, mine and my daughter's most favourite bedtime story ever. I love the rhymes, the imagery, the illustrations, and the 'kind granny' in the memory gets me every single time.
Thank you - you are wonderful.

mrscog Tue 27-Aug-13 13:46:25

No question, just praise - DS is only 18 months and we only have 'What the Ladybird Heard' and 'Sugarlump and the Unicorn' (Amazon Vine have sent it to us to review) but we love both. I'm really looking forward to reading more.

Lydia Monks is such a wonderful illustrator too, I love her style of mixing photgraphic texture with drawings smile

Thank you!

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Tue 27-Aug-13 14:30:36

What is your opinion on ebooks for children? Do you think you can't beat the physical act of going to buy a book and devouring it when you get home? Or do you think that things change and ebooks will quickly become the norm?

We're big fans of yours in our house. So many lines from your books are ingrained in what we say.

We don't give each other cuddles, we have a squash and a squeeze instead. When one of us see's a clear blue sky we will mention zigzagging through the blue. When walking through the snow, 'aha aho, tracks in the snow, where do they come from, where do they go?'. If we ask one of the boys to put something down they will 'drop it politely' grin

FCEK Tue 27-Aug-13 15:54:11

Hi Julia. I was not aware you were deaf until I read "Freddy and the fairy". I too am deaf and this book had really helped my daughter and her friends understand my needs better. Have you considered using this book to help raise deaf awareness in hearing schools? Or in deaf schools to make children feel less alone? Do you work with any deaf charities? (sorry that's a lot of questions!)

nameequality Tue 27-Aug-13 20:14:31

My DH would like to know whether The Gruffalo was inspired by Norse Mythology as he says the Gruffalo is a bit like a troll (a proper one not an internet one grin).

Kveta Tue 27-Aug-13 20:14:45

Hi Julia, my children (and I!) love your books - what do your grandchildren think of them? Are they aware that granny wrote them?

(I was in your middle son's class at school, then went to Glasgow at the same time as him, and one of my sisters was in your younger son's year, then went to Dundee at the same time as him too - I remember you being in the audience for many orchestra concerts whilst I was at school, little knowing that you were such a literary star! I won't be online for the webchat tomorrow, as I'm flying back to Milngavie with the children, accompanied by our rat eared and well loved copy of the Gruffalo grin we are SO happy that our favourite author is from East Dunbartonshire smile)

chiara32mutandone Tue 27-Aug-13 20:56:55

Can I just ask as am new here, how do webchats work exactly?

GloriaJones121 Tue 27-Aug-13 23:48:59

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Tee2072 Wed 28-Aug-13 07:29:32

chiara the guest comes on and answers a selection of the questions and, sometimes, other questions that are asked on the day.

Their posts will be highlighted in orange.

Does that make sense?

NicksWife Wed 28-Aug-13 08:04:45

Hi Julia, just wanted to thank you for all of your fantastic books and songs! They are dearly loved in our house- dd1 loves Stick man and dd2 loves The Gruffalo! We're looking forward to your new book.
How much discussion happens between you and the illustrator? We were reading Room on the Broom and I wondered how much input you had in the design of the final broom- it's fab!

FourGates Wed 28-Aug-13 11:51:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AmandaPandtheNightmareMonsters Wed 28-Aug-13 12:39:02

Not a question, but I've just got tickets for DD1 and me to come and see you at the Cheltenham literature festival. So excited!

DuelingFanjo Wed 28-Aug-13 12:56:58

How did you get your first picture book published and do you think it's harder if you are just the writer and not the illustrator?

Asking because I have an idea for a children's picture book but not sure if I need to look for an illustrator or should I attempt to do the pictures myself.

Carriepreston Wed 28-Aug-13 12:59:44

Hi Julia, when it comes to the illustrations of your books do you work directly with the illustrators to describe how you picture the characters or do they work off the descriptions already within the books ?

LilyBolero Wed 28-Aug-13 15:47:05

Hi Julia, firstly, thanks for all your books, we have loved them through all our 4 children, each one has had their favourite - ds1 loved The Smartest Giant in Town, whilst for ds2 Tiddler was the obligatory night-time story for months on end - I think we know it by heart!

My question is; "What advice have you for aspiring writers/illustrators? My dd is 10, and is constantly making books which she writes and illustrates, and ds2 is a fantastic artist with a great eye for detail, and is always drawing illustrations for books that don't have pictures, or copying illustrations from existing books. We just let them get on with it, but do you have any interesting ideas for projects they could do?"

LilyBolero Wed 28-Aug-13 15:48:38

Oh and yyy to loving Princess Mirror-Belle too - dd has devoured the books, but the audio discs have also whiled away many a long car journey. They are fantastic, especially Snow White and the Eight dwarfs!

LilyBolero Wed 28-Aug-13 15:51:17

(I wish there was an edit function on here) - just to add, one of the reasons we love Mirrorbelle is because it is almost uniquely, a story for girls (and boys) with a girl/princess who ISN'T all pink, fluffy, fairy-wings. As dd is none of those things either, it was great to find stories that weren't all 'Rainbow Fairy' types (if you know what I mean!).

TunipTheUnconquerable Wed 28-Aug-13 15:56:13

Hello Julia. How tall is the Gruffalo?

My kids love the book but it made them scared to go for walks in the woods until I pointed out it looked big to the mouse but actually it is less than knee-high to a human. One of my kids does not believe me. Please can you confirm?

Many thanks.

IvanaCake Wed 28-Aug-13 19:42:13

I just wanted to pop in to tell you how much we love your books. My daughters are 3 and 5 and are huge fans, as are myself and Dh.

Thank you so much for all that you write smile

WoodstockDaddy Wed 28-Aug-13 19:45:16

My 4yo daughter loves JD's books - as does her 8yo brother (still: he loved them when he was younger, but still enjoys them and reads them to his sister).

One of my favourite holiday memories is of Norfolk in 2008 when we had the CDs of Gruffalo, Snail and the Whale and the rest playing in the car the whole time. Soundtrack to the summer!

Looking forward to reading the new Owl and the Pussycat book.

AllSWornOut Wed 28-Aug-13 19:49:29

Dear Julia, another thank you from our household too. Tabby McTat is our favourite and i would like to know if he has a Scottish accent, and a stealthy second question, did you have a tune in mind for their favourite song? I have of course made up a tune but i always wonder what the original was.

indyandlara Wed 28-Aug-13 19:52:17

We love your books and came to see you at the Edinburgh Book Festival this month. My daughter was desperate to meet you and was delighted when you looked at her paper dolls. Thank you for doing for younger children what JK Rowling has done for older kids. You make reading cool! Oh and we adore the Gruffalo in Scots!

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