Quentin Blake - Author

About the Author

In 2010 we had a special feature on Quentin Blake's writing and illustration - click here to find out more.

Quentin Blake is one of Britain's best-loved and most successful author-illustrators, and was made the first Children's Laureate in 1999.  He has won the Whitbread Award, the hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, been shortlisted for The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award which rewards the best in contemporary children's and young adult literature from all over the world and has won the Kate Greenaway Medal among others. 

He was born in 1932 and has been drawing ever since he can remember. His first drawing was published in Punch when he was only 16. He studied English at Downing College, Cambridge, and after that he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London. This was followed by a part-time course at Chelsea Art School.

Quentin has received many awards for his books including the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Children's Book Award, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award, the Bologna Regazzi Prize and the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, which is the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books.

He is also famous for illustrating books for other authors, including Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen and Russell Hoban. But he is most famous for the illustrations he did for Roald Dahl's books.

Quentin Blake was awarded the O.B.E. in 1988, and in 1999 he was appointed the first Children's Laureate. This position, which he held for two years, saw him undertaking lots of ambitious projects in his quest to spread the word about the exciting world of children's books.

His book Laureate's Progress in 2002, recorded many of his activities and the illustrations he produced during his two-year tenure. Quentin Blake was created CBE in 2005, is an RDI and has numerous honorary degrees from universities throughout the UK. 

For parents who love Quentin Blake's illustrations, his book Beyond the Page  is a fascinating read. Blake writes about his projects since 2000, vividly describing his working processes, his collaborators, his travels, and his various projects and commissions, including his 'illustrated walls' projects for hospitals in the UK and France.

He is one of the best-known and best-loved illustrators of our time, and his books with a wide range of authors have been treasured by generations of children throughout the world. In 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration. Quentin lives in London. 

photo © Linda Kitson

Featured books by Quentin Blake

The House in the Tree

The House in the Tree

9+ readers

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/06/2017

All children dream of having a secret house where they can live on their own, far from any rules and regulations. But not all of them are as lucky as Aglaia, who lives at the top of a magical tree together with her friend Bianca and an incredible host of flying dogs, talking cats, carnivorous flowers and children who speak in verse.Inventively illustrated by Quentin Blake, Aglaia's adventures - and her battles with the gruff Signor Brullo and the woodmen who want to cut down the tree - are sure to enchant and inspire the imagination of every child.

Three Little Monkeys

Three Little Monkeys

5+ readers

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2016

A classic of the future. Hilda Snibbs had three little monkeys. Their names were Tim and Sam and Lulu. They were very lively...

Other books by Quentin Blake

The Green Ship

The Green Ship

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/01/2019

Two children find the Green Ship when they climb over the wall into what is more like a forest than a garden. The ship has bushes for bows and stern and its funnels are trees; a small garden shed on an ancient stump is the wheel house and in command of the ship is the owner of the garden, old Mrs Tredegar. Throughout the summer she and the Bosun and the two children sail the Seven Seas visiting exotic faraway places and having wonderful adventures.

Three Little Monkeys

Three Little Monkeys

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

A remarkable collaboration - that brings together giants of the picture book world - to create a funny, anarchic and utterly delightful picture book. A classic of the future. Hilda Snibbs had three little monkeys. Their names were Tim and Sam and Lulu. They were very lively...

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/08/2018

This fantastical and official new book, published just over 100 years after Roald Dahl's birth, will appeal to fans who grew up reading his stories, or reading them to their children, as well as to new readers who are discovering Dahl's world for the first time. It gives a brilliant new perspective on his most-loved (and hated) characters and stories. The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl brings together Dahl's wondrous creations and Quentin Blake's iconic illustrations with previously unpublished reproductions of imagined letters, artefacts, posters and much, much more. Inspired by the characters and events from each of Dahl's books, and including original thoughts and notes on yellow lined paper - as if written by Dahl himself - the book expands upon his stories in a humorous and creative way, making it the ideal addition to everyone's Dahl collection.

Zagazoo

Zagazoo

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/12/2017

Zagazoo is a baby like no other. In this quite exceptional picture book young readers will be delighted by the hilarious and unexpected changes in his behaviour as Zagazoo grows up. Parents may detect some strange echoes of family life. There have been many classic picture books from the incomparable pen of Quentin Blake, but never one more extraordinary.

Three Little Monkeys

Three Little Monkeys

5+ readers

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/09/2016

A classic of the future. Hilda Snibbs had three little monkeys. Their names were Tim and Sam and Lulu. They were very lively...

Three Little Owls

Three Little Owls

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2015

Three Little Owls is a charming rhyming story by the Italian artist Emanuele Luzzati, and presented here in an English version by John Yeoman and with gorgeous new illustrations by Quentin Blake. Three irrepressible little owls take us on their journey round the world, from one Christmas Day to the next - fishing, dancing, snoozing, and NOT behaving. Blake's delightful drawings combine with this fantastical poetic treat to create a story that young and old will enjoy reading again and again.

Five of Us

Five of Us

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2014

THE FIVE OF US is a captivating tale of adventure, friendship and teamwork from one of Britain's best-loved illustrators. Angie, Ollie, Simona, Mario and Eric are five fantastic friends, each of whom has an unusual ability. Disaster strikes on a day out to the countryside but, working together and combining their individual powers, the Fantastic Five save the day. Teeming with Quentin Blake's characteristic sense of fun and his exuberant illustrations, THE FIVE OF US is also a powerful, though subtle, reminder that the world is a better place when we focus on what we can do, rather than on what we can't.

Jack and Nancy

Jack and Nancy

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2012

Jack and Nancy love to hear the sailors tell of adventures far away. But one day, they are walking on the cliffs and it starts to rain, so Jack puts up his umbrella. But the wind picks up and WHOOOOSH they are blown away to an exotic island! They explore for a bit, and even meet a parrot, but there are no sign of any ships to get them home. How will they get back?

Quentin Blake's Nursery Rhyme Book

Quentin Blake's Nursery Rhyme Book

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/09/2012

In this brilliant collection of traditional rhymes, Quentin Blake is in his element. Come and join him and meet the fabulous Handy spandy (Jack a Dandy), Jack Sprat, Gregory Griggs (with twenty-seven wigs), Terence McDiddler the three-stringer fiddler and many, many more!!

Quentin Blake's Ten Frogs / Diez Ranas English and Spanish Edition

Quentin Blake's Ten Frogs / Diez Ranas English and Spanish Edition

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/04/2010

Populat book NOW IN SPANISH! A fun way for young children to learn their animals and numbers in another language Beautifully illustrated by today's best-loved illustrator Ten Frogs / Diez Ranas is Quentin Blake's hugely popular counting book - now available in English and Spanish. A great way for children to learn to count in Spanish and a genuinely beautiful book for any Quentin Blake fan. Also Available French - Ten Frogs / Dix Grenouilles HB GBP9.99 978-1-84365-104-8 Board Book - Ten Frogs (English only) BB GBP4.99 978-1-84365-128-4

Quentin Blakes Ten Frogs A Book About Counting in English and French

Quentin Blakes Ten Frogs A Book About Counting in English and French

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/04/2008

'Ten Frogs/Dix Grenouilles' is Quentin Blake's wonderfully illustrated counting book written in both English and French. Starting with 'One Crow/Un Corbeau' and proceeding with more and more animals ('Two Goats/Deux Chevres', 'Three Dogs/Trois Chiens' etc) the pages get gradually more and more filled with animals until reaching 'A Hundred Wasps/Cent Guepes'. A great way for children to learn to count in French and a genuinely beautiful book for any Quentin Blake fans. A simple concept carried out with all of Quentin Blake's legendary wit and charm A great way for children to learn to count in French Beautifully illustrated by one of the world's most-loved illustrators

Angel Pavement

Angel Pavement

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2005

Corky and Loopy are two perfectly normal girls. They like chocolate biscuits, fizzy drinks, screaming at each other and drawing. But they are also a little bit special . . . because they are angels. One day they visit Sid, a pavement artist. Sid is sad because he wants to take part in the big drawing competition but can't work out how the judges will ever get to see his work. Corky and Loopy decide to help and give him a very special pencil from their collection. So begins a bright and colourful adventure.

Mrs Armitage Queen Of The Road

Mrs Armitage Queen Of The Road

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/07/2004

When Uncle Cosmo buys himself a motorbike and gives Mrs Armitage his boring old car, it soon becomes obvious that her driving skills leave a lot to be desired. Mrs Armitage and Breakspear cause havoc bumping into bollards, bedsteads, lorries, a crane and bedoinging over some extremely uneven roads. As the bumper, the doors, the mudguard and even the roof disappear along the way, the car is transformed into a mean machine and Mrs Armitage becomes Queen of the Road!

Loveykins

Loveykins

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/10/2003

One bright spring morning, after a night of gales in the great woods, Angela Bowling discovers a small helpless bird who has fallen from his nest. Determined to help, she scoops the creature up and bears him home. From that day forth, Angela lavishes all her nurturing care and attention upon the bird. Augustus is wrapped in the softest of blankets and is fed the finest of foods. He travels in style in an elaborate basket, or in his magnificent pushchair. Nothing is too good for Angela's little loveykins. And when Augustus becomes too large for his blankets, or his basket, or his pushchair, Angela builds him a shed of his very own. All is well, until one fateful night when the storms rage through the great woods once again . . .

Mrs Armitage And The Big Wave

Mrs Armitage And The Big Wave

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Ars Armitage arrives on the beach with her surfboard and her faithful dog Breakspear, and paddles out to sea to wait for the Big Wave. But, of course, Mrs Armitage can't be satisfied with just an ordinary surfboard and she is soon adding a hilarious variety of gadgets and contraptions. And when the Big Wave finally arrives, Mrs Armitage certainly surfs with style!

Mrs Armitage on Wheels

Mrs Armitage on Wheels

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/1999

Mrs Armitage sets off for a quiet cycle with her faithful dog, Breakspear, but she just can't help thinking of ways to improve her bicycle. Before very long she has added three very loud horns, a bucket of water to wash her hands, a complete tool kit. And by the time she has also added a seat for Breakspear, two umbrellas, a cassette player and a mouth-organ, Mrs Armitage is riding a very eye-catching contraption. But it is when she finally adds the mast and sail, that Mrs Armitage really runs into trouble. . .

Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered

Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered

Author: Quentin Blake, John Cassidy Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 01/03/1999

Quentin Blake is one of the most celebrated illustrators in the world today, and the best person imaginable to collaborate on this sketchbook with training wheels. Full of inspirational artwork, instruction and plenty of white space reserved for the artist-to-be, the book comes with an artist-quality sketch pen and two watercolour pencils.

The Puffin Book of Nonsense Verse

The Puffin Book of Nonsense Verse

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/1996

Ever eaten Poodle Strudel? Slain a Jabberwock? Bathed in Irish Stew? Quentin Blake is one of the best loved of children's illustrators. In this brilliant book he has selected and illustrated his favourite comic verse, making it pure entertainment for nonsense-lovers of all ages. His unique style of drawing brings a new perspective to every poem. Classic writers such as Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear are combined with more contemporary talents such as Roger McGough, Margaret Mahy and Russell Hoban. With fifteen wonderfully absurd sections, including Distracting Creatures, Sticky Ends, I Wish I Were a Jelly Fish, A Recipe for Indigestion and Chortling and Galumphing, here is a delightful collection of the topsy-turvy, the fantastical, the anarchic, the illogical and the utterly wonderful.

All Join In

All Join In

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/02/1992

'And if Ferdinand decides to make a chocolate fudge banana cake What do we do? For goodness sake! We ALL JOIN IN!' This book is a rumbustious, rollicking and above all noisy collection of seven exuberant poems, perfect for chanting aloud, that are brilliantly illustrated by the incomparable Quentin Blake. The collection includes 'All Join In', 'The Hooter Song', 'Nice Weather for Ducks' and 'Sorting Out the Kitchen Pans'. Who coud possibly resist?

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