Julia Catherine Donaldson was born on Sept. 16, 1948 in London. She is a British writer and playwright and the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate. She is known for her rhyming stories for children. These include: The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom and Stick Man. She began writing songs for children's television but has focused on writing books when the words of one of her songs - A Squash and a Squeeze were made into a children's book in 1993. She has over 180 published works with 120 of them intended for school use and include her Songbirds phonic reading scheme, which is part of the Oxfird Reading Tree. She has won several awards including: The Stockport Book Award for her title The Troll, The Oxfordshire Book Award for her title Zog and The Oldham Book Award for her title Jack and the Flumflum Tree. In 2015 The Gruffalo made The New Zealand Best Seller List.