Axel Scheffler

German illustrator Axel Scheffler (1957) is best known for his collaboration with the English writer Julia Donaldson whose rhymed children’s books feature illustrations by Scheffler, especially The Gruffalo (1999) and The Gruffalo’s Child (2004), which have inspired a Broadway show and an animated film. The protagonist of the books is a resourceful mouse who outwits the forest dwellers who are out to eat him, by talk- ing about his imaginary friend Gruffalo, a monster who is half bear and half buffalo and particularly likes to eat the very animal who happens to be wanting the mouse for a meal. Four more books by the Scheffler-Donaldson tandem have been published in Estonian. Room on the Broom (2001) is about a witch who invites animals to ride her broomstick. Zog (2010) is a story about an industrious but clumsy dragon. The Snail and the Whale (2003) is about the trip around the world made by a tiny snail and an enormous whale. The hero of the book Stick Man (2008) is a wooden stick that gets separated from his “family tree”. You can meet Axel Scheffler at the Estonian Children’s Literature Centre where he is joined by translator Leelo Märjamaa.

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