Axel Scheffler was born in 1957 in Hamburg, Germany.
He is a prolific illustrator of award winning children’s books.
At school he was good at art, but didn’t think of a career in illustration until at age fourteen he won his first drawing prize for an international chocolate company. His prize was a cuddly lilac cow which now belongs to his daughter.
After school, he briefly studied History of Art at the University of Hamburg, but did not complete the degree. Instead, he moved to England and studied illustration at the Bath Academy of Art, where he spent much of his time drawing sheep and peacocks in the grounds of Corsham Court.
Axel graduated with a first class degree and moved to London where he began illustrating for a variety of English and German advertising companies, magazines and newspapers.
He moved into book illustrations in the early 90s, when he began his enduring picture book collaboration with Julia Donaldson.
The original sketches for the monster-like Gruffalo were a bit too scary so had to be toned down a bit. Axel says he hopes he will get time one day to draw a book of his own that allows his pictures to run wild.
In 2006, he designed Gordon Brown’s Christmas cards and all seven Christmas 2012 stamps for Royal Mail.
Scheffler was commissioned by Faber and Faber to provide new illustrations for a new edition of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats that commemorated the 70th anniversary of the book and the 80th anniversary of Faber and Faber. This new edition was published in October 2009.
Axel has illustrated a number of other highly successful books, including Muddle Farm, and his novelty books such as The Bedtime Bear are bestsellers too. His books have been translated into 42 languages.
Axel lives in Richmond, London with his partner and young daughter.
You can find out more about Axel Scheffler at this link on Wikipedia.
Axel Scheffler’s Books Reviewed
Have you read any of these books?
Please leave a comment below so we can share the most popular ones with everyone.