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No Gruffalo for eBooks

Author of best-selling children's books, such a The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale, Julia Donaldson, refused to sanction an ebook version of the monster-in-the woods tale, suggesting the technology is not a good format for youngsters.

"I actually really don't like it for children's books," she told the Guardian. "I think there are lots of pros to ebooks but I don't feel we have to be controlled by technology and I don't feel we should say, 'Oh, that's the way things are going, that's the future, let's do it.'"

She added: "I think it would be great if there were lots of ebooks but there were also quite a lot of titles not available as ebooks. I feel if everyone just says yes to there being an ebook of everything, there is a danger they could take over."

Donaldson notched up sales worth £10 million in 2010 with eight of the the UK's top 10 children's picture books being written by Donaldson and her regular illustrators Axel Scheffler and Lydia Monks.

She confessed she doesn't even really know who owns the rights to develop digital versions of her books, but put her foot down anyway. "It could be that I haven't even got the right to say that, and my publishers are just respecting my feelings and not pushing me in a direction I don't want to go in," she said. "I'd have to check the small print."

Outlining her objections, she explained: "The publishers showed me an ebook of Alice in Wonderland. They said, 'Look, you can press buttons and do this and that', and they showed me the page where Alice's neck gets longer. There's a button the child can press to make the neck stretch, and I thought, well, if the child's doing that, they are not going to be listening or reading, 'I wish my cat Dinah was here' or whatever it says in the text – they're just going to be fiddling with this wretched button."