Our Favourite Julia Donaldson Books (A 5-Year Old’s Review)

Our Favourite Julia Donaldson Books (A 5-Year Old’s Review)

My 5-year-old daughter, Aurelia has a favourite author, Julia Donaldson. (You can find out more about Julia Donaldson as well as a comprehensive list of her works on her website.) Aurelia is a very keen reader and when asked to choose a book, she will always choose one from her extensive Julia Donaldson collection. The more I read Donaldson’s books, the more I enjoy them.

Aurelia’s love of Julia Donaldson began where most children’s has, with The Gruffalo. In fact, I had initially assumed this was her only notable work. As Aurelia started school, she learnt (and so did I) that this author has authored a huge array of books.

In fact, I remember reading A Squash and a Squeeze to my eldest daughter, Kerri (now 17) when she was a small child. I had no idea this was a Julia Donaldson book! But Aurelia knew! One of Kerri’s all-time favourite books was Room on the Broom, I recently discovered this is another addition from this wonderful children’s author.

Shopping for Children’s Books

I rarely buy new, unused books. For the most part, I head down to my local charity shops to buy books for myself and for my children. Prices vary but you can pick up some charity books for 20p each!

I can understand why some people are reluctant to buy used books. For my eldest daughter, I would always buy brand new books, clothes and games. I assumed used meant dirty, unwanted and shabby. However, I have come to learn that not all second-hand items are sub-standard. Most of the books we buy from the charity shops are as new. They don’t have grubby finger marks on them or sticky substances. If I see a book that looks shabby, I simply don’t buy it.

One of Aurelia’s favourite things to do on a rainy weekend is to visit the local library. We have spent many memorable hours browsing through the books and sitting down in a comfy corner to read them together.

All the books featured below were either borrowed from the library or have been bought from a charity shop!

Aurelia’s Favourite Julia Donaldson Books

I set Aurelia a challenge last week. See how many Julia Donaldson books you can find in the library… On your marks, get set …….GO!

The Go Away Bird

We all feel like the ‘Go Away Bird’ sometimes – we just want to be left alone in peace and quiet. But others want to interact with us. This is the theme of the Go Away Bird story. I’m sure it’s a scenario most children, and adults can relate to!

The Go-Away Bird is miserable and not very pleasant to the other birds. However, when she is in trouble and needs their help, the birds come to her rescue.

A sweet story with an important message.

The Cook and the King

The Cook and the King is an incredibly humorous story. The King requires a cook, he is ever so hungry! But no cook is good enough for the fussy King. Until Wobbly Bob comes along. The only problem is, Bob is afraid of everything. Can the King help Bob face his fears?

Like many of Julia Donaldson’s books, The Cook and the King will have your child chuckling through the adventure!

The Scarecrows’ Wedding

Meet Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay, two scarecrows who wish to wed. But as soon as Harry leaves Betty’s side to gather all the things they need to create their perfect wedding, a new scarecrow in town, Reginald Rake almost ruins their special day!

Can Harry race back to Betty in time?

This is yet another humorous tale with many misadventures and laughs along the way.

Zog and the Flying Doctors

When we read this book, we had no idea this book is a sequel to Zog (see below). Needless to say, you don’t have to have read Zog to understand Zog and the Flying Doctors.

For this book, Julia Donaldson teamed up once again with illustrator Alex Scheffler. Together they have created The Gruffalo and Stickman amongst other classic tales. Scheffler’s wonderful artistry really makes the characters come to life!

Zog, a dragon, is an air ambulance, transporting the flying doctors – Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout.

The trio treats all sorts of mythical creatures, including mermaids and unicorns. But is a doctor really the right profession for a Princess?

Aurelia has an immense collection of Julia Donaldson books which she owns. Most of which are charity shop bought. All the books below cost no more than £1 each!


One of Aurelia’s favourite bedtime reads, Stickman wonders from the family home and finds himself lost in the world. At every turn, Stickman travels further and further from the place he wants to be – with his family.

Will Stickman ever find his way home?

This is a beautiful story which was brought to life in an animated film.

A Squash and a Squeeze

A firm favourite of my eldest daughter, A Squash and a Squeeze is an absolute classic as far as I am concerned.

An old woman decides her house is too small and so seeks advice from a wise old man. Can he help the old woman make her house feel much bigger?

Follow the funny adventures of the old woman in this wonderful rhyming story.

The Paper Dolls

A little girl loves to play with her paper dolls. Such a simple toy my daughters and I have had hours of fun trying to create. But paper dolls are delicate.

The paper dolls manage to dodge all sorts of misfortunes, but can they remain together once they’re snipped with scissors?


Zog is a dragon who always tried his best at dragon school. Each day he practices hard so he can win a gold star.

Zog bumps into an unlikely character – a Princess. Can they help each other? What will happen when a knight comes to rescue Princess Pearl?

Zog is another beloved character from the Julia Donaldson collection! The efforts and kind nature of this dragon are sure to resonate with all children.

Freddie and the Fairy

Freddie finds a fairy, Bessie-Belle who decides to grant the boy all his wishes. The problem is, Freddie mumbles! And so the poor fairy can’t grant Freddie his wishes.

Aurelia chuckles through this story as we follow the mistakes the fairy makes as she struggles to hear what Freddie has wished for.

Can Freddie make himself heard?

The Highway Rat

The Highway Rat tells the story of a naughty rat who steals sweet treats from the other animals. As he rides along the Highway, the rat, the archetypal bully takes whatever he wants.

That is until the rat meets his match, an animal much smarter than himself. And the rat’s bullying is brought to a sticky end (an apt message to all bullies!)

You can find more of Aurelia’s favourite books here.

Do you have a favourite Julia Donaldson book? Let us know in the comments below!



  1. June 25, 2019 / 9:49 pm

    I was not aware of Julia Donaldson’s books until I read about her book choices. I would like to read The Scarecrow’s Wedding and Zog.

    • Lellalee
      July 2, 2019 / 9:34 pm

      They are brilliant books! xxx

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