Children’s author Julia Donaldson has joined forces with her regular illustrator Axel Scheffler to help children understand and follow official guidance. And what a joy to see the Gruffalo social distancing, The Smartest Giant in Town washing his hands or Charlie Cook reading his favourite books at home.

Scheffler had the idea as he wanted to help, and decided to work on a children’s book explaining coronavirus (now available on a free download) and in the meantime contacted Donaldson over doing some witty sketches based on their collaboration books. The idea was to show kids characters they knew and loved incorporating a tip about coronavirus.

The popular 1999 Guraffalo story of a mouse taking a walk in the woods sold 13 million copies and was followed up by The Gruffalo’s Child. Donaldson and Scheffler also collaborated on other kids favourites like Stickman, who has been re-imagined as doing home fitness. Other characters like the Smeds have been drawn making video calls to their families and helping others with shopping.

The full list of Axel’s images are below, and you can click on your favourite to go straight there or see every image of the set in a slideshow:

The Gruffalo
Stick Man
Tabby McTat
A Squash and a Squeeze
The Highway Rat
The Smeds and the Smoos
The Scarecrows’ Wedding
Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book
The Gruffalo’s Child
The Smartest Giant in Town
Zog and the Flying Doctors
Room on the Broom

All of the Julia Dondaldson / Axel Scheffler books are available on Amazon Including a 10 book collection at a great price.

London born Julia Donaldson was the 2011–2013 Children’s Laureate and best known for her popular rhyming stories for children, especially those illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

In 1993 the words of one of her songs “A Squash and a squeeze” was made into a book, and in total 64 of the 184 published works are available in bookshops.

Enjoy them all below:

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo is arguably the most famous of the collection. Based on the Chinese story of a little girl who escapes being eaten by a tiger. The story was reimaged, and the name Gruffalo was made up to intentionally rhyme with “doesn’t he know”.

Macmillan Children’s Books published The Gruffalo in 1999, illustrated by Axel Scheffler. in 2009 it was animated by Magic Light Pictures with a cast including Robbie Coltrane as the Gruffalo, James Corden as the mouse, and Helena Bonham Carter Mother Squirrel who narrates), Rob Brydon (Snake), John Hurt (Owl) and Tom Wilkinson (Fox).

gruffalo social distancing

“All right,” said the Gruffalo, bursting with laughter. “you go ahead and I’ll follow two meters after.”

The best way to watch the Gruffalo online for free is to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial. If you are in the UK, at the time of writing the Gruffalo is available on BBC iPlayer.

Buy the Gruffalo book on Amazon:

Watch the Gruffalo on Amazon Prime:


The Gruffalo’s friends:

Stick Man

The 2008 Family favourite Stick Man is about an anthropomorphic wooden stick, who is separated from his family and his adventures as he tries to get back to the Family Tree.

Written by Julia Donaldson, and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, it has sold over 2 million copies. The book was adapted by Magic Light Pictures in 2015 featuring Martin Freeman as Stick Man. Due to the appearance of Father Christmas, it’s become a festive staple for families.

stickman fitness
Stick Man and Lady stay home in their tree, But they’re keeping fit with their Stick Children three.

The best way to watch the Stickman online for free is to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial.

Buy the Stick Man book on Amazon:

Watch Stick Man on Amazon Prime:

Tabby McTat

cat isolation
Prunella and Pat are safe in their flat, being looked after by Tabby McTat

Buy Tabby McTatt on Amazon:

A Squash and a Squeeze

supermarkets are a suash and a squeeze
“Stay in your house,” said the wise old man, “we’ll do your shopping”, “an excellent plan”.

Buy a Squash and a squeeze on Amazon:

The Highway Rat

highway rat
“Give me your soap and your loo rolls and everything else on the shelf. For I am the Rat of the Highway and I’m taking them all for myself.”

The best way to watch the Highway Rat online for free is to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial.

Buy the Highway Rat book on Amazon:

Watch the Highway Rat on Amazon


The Smeds and the Smoos


The Smeds and the Smoos
Granny and Grandpa are all on their own, But they always cheer up when the grandchildren phone.

Buy The Smeds and the Smoos on Amazon:

The Scarecrows’ Wedding

scarecrows wedding
The Scarecrows’ Wedding can’t happen just yet, When everyone’s well, a new date will be set.


Buy The Scarecrows’ Wedding on Amazon:

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book

Charlie Cooks isolation book
Charlie Cook has to stay in his house, He reads to the cat and he reads to the mouse.


Buy Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book on Amazon:

The Gruffalo’s Child

The 2004 sequel to the best-selling Gruffalo came five years later with the Gruffalo’s Child. Again Julia Donaldson’s written verse collaborated with Axel Scheffler’s illustrations as the Gruffalo’s daughter sets off into the deep dark wood. Along her journey, she meets the same Owl, Fox, Snake, and of course the Mouse.

In 2011 the picture book was adapted into a short animation by the Magic Light Pictures team, reuniting the same actors from the first film plus Shirley Henderson as the Gruffalo’s Child.

Gruffalos child

The Gruffalos stayed in the Gruffalo cave. The Gruffalo’s Child did her best to behave.

The best way to watch the Gruffalo’s Child online for free is to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial.

Buy the Gruffalo’s Child book on Amazon:

Watch the Gruffalo’s Child on Amazon:

The Smartest Giant in Town

the cleanest giant in town
Look me up and down, I’m the cleanest Giant in town!

Buy The Smartest Giant in Town on Amazon:

Zog and the Flying Doctors


Zog and the Flying Doctors tell the lion with the sneeze, “don’t sneeze into your paw – and use a paper hanky, please.”

Buy Zog and the Flying Doctors on Amazon:

Room on the Broom

lots of room on the broom
You’d better be safe, you’d better be smart, stay on the broom, but stay well apart.

The best way to watch the Room on the Broom online for free is to sign up for the Amazon Prime Free Trial.

Buy the Room on the Broom book on Amazon:

Watch Room on the Broom on Amazon:



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