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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

The Five of Us

The 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.

Beyond the Page

Beyond the Page

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2013

Quentin Blake is one of the best-known and best-loved illustrators in the world, creating brilliant and iconic characters for, amongst others, Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and most famously Roald Dahl. He has won numerous awards over the years, including the whitbread Award, the Kate greenaway Medal,and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. In 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, in 2005 was created CBE and knighted in 2012. In Beyond the Page 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. Generously illustrated with 320 full-colour reproductions of his work, this is an unsurpassed collection of Quentin Blake's achievements, which, together with his fascinating story, make it a must for aficionados and professionals alike.

Words and Pictures Quentin Blake

Words and Pictures Quentin Blake

Author: Quentin Blake Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2013

Following on from our hugely successful publication of Beyond the Page, we are thrilled to be publishing Words and Pictures in paperback for the first time. This is the fascinating insight into Quentin's work before Beyond the Page, from the start of his career until 2000. The words describe his approach to the challenges and opportunities of illustration; the pictures, chosen from fifty years of publication, show the progress from his first experience of Punch magazine to the publishing of his own-authored picture books such as Fantastic Daisy Artichoke. Some are familiar, such as those of Roald Dahl's Matilda, or the BFG, while others are from early in his career, and some - roughs, layouts and personal drawings - will be completely new to most readers. This unusual book is not only a chance to examine the artistic development of one of our most distinguished illustrators, but a guide to the world of illustration as well as all those interested in children's books, humour, or quite simply the pleasures of drawing.

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!!

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