The Gruffalo writer launches new free online series Julia Donaldson and Friends

Author Julia Donaldson is hosting a live show for kids each Thursday on Facebook

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Attention all home-schooling parents: Julia Donaldson, writer of The Gruffalo series, Stick Man and Zog, has announced a new weekly online broadcast for families during the coronavirus lockdown.

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The author will perform stories, songs and poems, broadcast on Facebook from her home in Steyning. Each episode – airing 4pm each Thursday on Facebook – she’ll be joined by guests including illustrators Axel Scheffler, Rebecca Cobb, Lydia Monks, David Roberts and Nick Sharratt.

“During this very difficult time, I am glad to be able to do something useful from the confines of my home,” Donaldson said.

“I hope that my stories, songs and poems bring a little cheer to those who read them or tune in to my new weekly broadcasts.

“I look forward to sharing some favourites and some lesser-known works with families everywhere.”

You can watch the first broadcast below, featuring a performance of song A Squash and Squeeze. To all headphone users: you best turn down your volume before starting this.

Julia Donaldson and Friends: A Squash and a Squeeze

We're very pleased to announce the very first weekly broadcast of 'Julia Donaldson and Friends.' This week Julia Donaldson is sharing a performance of the song, 'A Squash and a Squeeze' and some drawings of the characters from the illustrator Axel Scheffler.

Posted by The Gruffalo on Thursday, April 2, 2020

Next week Donaldson will be reading book The Snail and the Whale Seaside, with a drawing lesson from illustrator Lydia Monks.

She joins the likes of Joe Wicks, Nick Cope and Oti Mabuse, who have all launched initiatives to both educate and keep the kids entertained at home.

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A new Julia Donaldson show will be available every Thursday from 4pm on Facebook. Check out what else is on with our TV Guide.