Macmillan Children’s Books is marking 30 years of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s bestselling partnership with new publishing, key partnerships and a celebratory events programme.
Together, the iconic duo have sold over 75 million books worldwide, and have had their books translated into over 100 languages.
On its own, A Squash and a Squeeze – the duo’s first picture book – has sold 2.2 million copies across 33 territories since it was first published in March 1993.
The publisher will celebrate 30 years of favourite stories from the partnership with a year-long programme of new publishing, promotional activity and a national PR campaign, dedicated to celebrating with as many families as possible.
A newly created foil roundel will sit on all anniversary books across the year.
Anniversary publishing to celebrate the 30th birthday kicked off in January with the publication of a new edition of A Squash and A Squeeze in paperback, with a foil cover and extra content from Julia and Axel including a letter from Julia and some early sketches from Axel.
Celebratory publishing of Julia and Axel’s classic stories will begin in May with eight anniversary editions of A Squash and a Squeeze; The Gruffalo; Monkey Puzzle; Room on the Broom; The Smartest Giant in Town; The Snail and the Whale; The Gruffalo’s Child; and Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book.
How To Draw The Gruffalo and Friends created by Axel will also launch in May. The book is a step by step guide to illustrating 10 characters from the books and includes activities to encourage creativity, plus never before seen sketches and advice from Axel on everything from character development to cover design.
The anniversary year will culminate in October with the publication of The Amazing World of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
A year-round marketing and PR campaign will see a series of events, national press coverage and a number of high profile partnerships. Major announcements will follow throughout the year.
“What an incredible moment this is. Julia and Axel have an extraordinary partnership and together their stories bring a particular kind of magic to their readers, be they young or old,” commented Belinda Ioni Rasmussen, md of Macmillan Children’s Books. “Not many creative duos have touched so many lives around the world – and with The Gruffalo now translated into 107 languages and dialects, we can honestly say that.
“We are so proud to work with them as publishers, and personally they are dear to us all at Macmillan Children’s Books. We wish them very many congratulations on reaching this brilliant 30-year milestone and look forward to celebrating throughout the year.”
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