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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

3+ readers 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...

ebook of the month

Other books by Quentin Blake

Feet in the Water

Feet in the Water

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/08/2019

Deliveries from Elsewhere

Deliveries from Elsewhere

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/08/2019

Ludwig Bemelmans

Ludwig Bemelmans

Author: Quentin Blake, Laurie Britton Newell Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/05/2019

While almost everybody knows Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline, the fact that the illustrator published over forty other titles remains a well-kept secret. The first title in Thames & Hudson's brand-new series, this book offers a visually rich insight into the life and work of this important artist and writer. Ludwig Bemelmans grew up under the Austro-Hungarian empire and emigrated to the United States in his late teens, just escaping the outbreak of the First World War. His illustrations for the Madeline books offer a classic vision of Paris that has created a lasting impression on millions of readers. And every illustrator would love to know how he conveyed all the emotions of a spirited little girl drawn with just a few lines and dots; how did he achieve such clarity in simplicity? Laurie Britton Newell's illustrated essay gathers material from Bemelmans' diverse oeuvre, from novels, autobiographical stories, humorous articles and comic strips to murals and menus for hotels and restaurants. The book makes accessible this mesmerizing material, which is otherwise lost to the public, and connects it to the artist's intriguing life. An icon of a fascinating era, Bemelmans through his magical work gives us glimpses of a life that embodied both hard work and glamour, in Paris and New York.

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...

Quentin Blake: Pens Ink & Places

Quentin Blake: Pens Ink & Places

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

FOLLOWING FROM THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS OF WORDS AND PICTURES AND BEYOND THE PAGE , THIS THIRD VOLUME CONTINUES A NARRATIVE OF VISUAL ADVENTURES OF UNUSUAL DIVERSITY. Pens Ink & Places contains a wealth of new material, ranging from touching series of vignettes for Great Ormond Street Hospital to gigantic drawings for the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; from the sombre apocalyptic landscapes of Riddley Walker to the energetic fantasy of Billy and the Minpins. This beautiful volume also includes Blake's unique illustrations made to accompany accompany the works of John Ruskin, La Fontaine, Lucius Apuleius and Beatrix Potter. Blake's commentary - straight, as it were, from the drawing board - explores the challenges and opportunities in the creation of drawings known around the world, as well as others seen here for the first time. It is clear from every page of this informative and richly illustrated volume that there has been no slackening of brio in the scratchy pen nib of an artist who has been called the `Godfather of Illustration'.

Quentin Blake: Pens Ink & Places

Quentin Blake: Pens Ink & Places

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

FOLLOWING FROM THE ENORMOUS SUCCESS OF WORDS AND PICTURES AND BEYOND THE PAGE , THIS THIRD VOLUME CONTINUES A NARRATIVE OF VISUAL ADVENTURES OF UNUSUAL DIVERSITY. Pens Ink & Places contains a wealth of new material, ranging from touching series of vignettes for Great Ormond Street Hospital to gigantic drawings for the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; from the sombre apocalyptic landscapes of Riddley Walker to the energetic fantasy of Billy and the Minpins. This beautiful volume also includes Blake's unique illustrations made to accompany accompany the works of John Ruskin, La Fontaine, Lucius Apuleius and Beatrix Potter. Blake's commentary - straight, as it were, from the drawing board - explores the challenges and opportunities in the creation of drawings known around the world, as well as others seen here for the first time. It is clear from every page of this informative and richly illustrated volume that there has been no slackening of brio in the scratchy pen nib of an artist who has been called the `Godfather of Illustration'.

100 Figures The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake

100 Figures The Unseen Art of Quentin Blake

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Quentin Blake's illustrations are instantly recognisable to millions of people around the world. A new exhibition to be held at London's House of Illustration will explore an unusual aspect of Blake's work, however, exhibiting for the first time 100 examples of his works of art. 100 Figures, will feature all of the 100 exhibited works - ranging from large-scale oil paintings to drawings and prints, created between the 1950s and today. Works included date back to his post-grad years in the 1950s when he struggled to make a living as an illustrator and took life-drawing classes at Chelsea School of Art. It was here that he first engaged with the human figure, but soon, having observed how the human body behaves, he found he was able to draw it from memory in any pose, working from his vivid imagination. 100 Figures will also offer the chance to catch a rare glimpse of early oil paintings by Blake - some painted on hardboard since he was unable to afford canvases at that time and painted using commercial house-painters' brushes.

Three Little Monkeys

Three Little Monkeys

Author: Quentin Blake Format: eBook Release Date: 28/12/2017

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...

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