Axel Scheffler

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Axel Scheffler
Scheffler at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair
Scheffler at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair
Born (1957-12-12) 12 December 1957 (age 63)
Hamburg, West Germany
EducationBath Academy of Art
Notable worksThe Gruffalo
Room on the Broom
Stick Man

Axel Scheffler (born (1957-12-12)12 December 1957)[1] is a German illustrator and animator based in London. He is best known for his cartoon-like pictures for children's books, in particular The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child, written by Julia Donaldson. He has also authored/illustrated the Pip and Posy series of books for children.

Early life[edit]

Scheffler was born on 12 December 1957 in Hamburg, West Germany.[2] He began studying the History of Art at the University of Hamburg but dropped out, deciding instead to do alternative National Service, caring for the mentally ill. He moved to England in 1982, at the age of 25, to study Visual Communications at the Bath Academy of Art in Corsham, Wiltshire. The course also included an exchange to Cooper Union in New York. It was during these years (1982–1984) that Scheffler decided to become an illustrator.


Scheffler worked in advertising and publishing after graduating in 1985. During this time he lived at Streatham Hill in London and soon began children's illustrating. The first book he illustrated was The Piemakers by Helen Cresswell, in 1988. Since then, he has drawn his distinctive illustrations for authors of children's books from Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, including, in addition to Julia Donaldson, Jon Blake, Paul Shipton, David Henry Wilson, Uwe Timm, Paul van Loon and Toon Tellegen.[3]

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 the company, which was published in October 2009.[4]

He illustrated Gordon Brown's 2006 Christmas cards and all seven Christmas 2012 stamps designed by Webb & Webb Design Limited for Royal Mail.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Scheffler lives in Richmond, London.[6]


  1. ^ Spreckelsen, Tilman; Kronthaler, Helmut (2013-07-15). "Axel Scheffler". (in German). Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  2. ^ "Axel Scheffler who is he?". Axel Scheffler's official website. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  3. ^ "Q&A with Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler". Financial Times. Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  4. ^ "Axel Scheffler | Authors | Faber & Faber". Retrieved 2020-01-19.
  5. ^ "The Gruffalo's Axel Scheffler and Christmas stamps". BBC News. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 2014-10-18.
  6. ^ "Illustrator Axel Scheffler on The Gruffalo, artistic inspiration and Richmond life" Archived February 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. Roy Sharp. The Observer. 25 November 2006. Retrieved 2014-10-18.

External links[edit]