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Julia Eccleshare & Quentin Blake - Author

About the Author

Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children's books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role as Editorial contributor and advisor to Lovereading4kids, she is the children's editor of the Guardian.

She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children's Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children's literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman's Hour Guide to Children's Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children's fiction editor in UK publishing. She has been a selector to the Children's Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children's book club and for some while was children's books editor of The Bookseller. She regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children's book prizes including the Whitbread (now called the Costa) and the Nestle among others.

From this engagement with the field she has encyclopaedic knowledge of what has been published for children over the last twenty five or thirty years, how fashions have changed, what has worked and how best to help children and their parents find the book that they will most enjoy. Julia was awarded the Eleanor Farjeon Prize in 2000 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to children's books. She is married with four children and lives in London.

 

Quentin Blake 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.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award rewards the best in contemporary children's and young adult literature from all over the world. Quentin Blake has been shortlisted for the award, the winner of which will be announced in March 2010.

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