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Anthony Browne - Author

About the Author

As a child
Anthony grew up in a village called Hipperholme, in Yorkshire. He loved art and would spend hours drawing with his beloved father. He says of his father, “He was an unusual man – outwardly strong and confident, but also shy and sensitive – a bit like the gorillas I love to illustrate now. As well as drawing, he encouraged me to play a lot of sports, such as rugby and soccer and cricket. I was small for my age and I used to go to a fairly tough school – if I hadn’t been good at sports, I would probably have been bullied.”

As an adult
After he left school, Anthony studied graphic design and then went on to paint the insides of people’s bodies for medical textbooks. He found this fascinating, but after three years found that the work was becoming repetitive (“if you’ve seen one stomach operation, you’ve seen ‘em all!”) and instead began designing greetings cards. This in turn led him to illustrating children’s books – his book Gorilla began life as a picture on a birthday card. Anthony lives in Kent and has two grown-up children.

As an artist
Gorillas feature in many of Anthony’s books. He says, “I am fascinated by them and the contrast they represent – their huge strength and gentleness. They’re thought of as being very fierce creatures and they’re not.” Anthony’s illustrations also reveal his love of the Surrealist painters, whose pictures often depict strange, dreamlike scenes (look out for all the disguised bananas hidden in Anthony’s books!). When Anthony first has an idea for a picture book, he says, “it’s a strange combination of story and images. Deciding what will be illustrated on the pages of a book is like deciding on the scenes of a film.” Anthony has won many prizes for his work, including the Kate Greenaway Medal (twice) and the Kurt Maschler Award (three times). In 2000, he received the highest international honour for illustration, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, for his services to children’s literature – the first British illustrator to win the prize since 1956. On 9 June 2009 Anthony was announced as the sixth Children’s Laureate, an appointment that recognises the importance of exceptional children’s writing in creating the ‘readers of tomorrow.’ Speaking about this latest award, Anthony says, “I hope to encourage more children to discover and love reading, but I want to focus particularly on the appreciation of picture books…. Picture books are for everybody at any age, not books to be left behind as we grow older. The best ones leave a tantalising gap between the pictures and the words, a gap that is filled by the reader's imagination, adding so much to the excitement of reading a book.”

Things you didn't know about Anthony Browne
•    When he was a boy he wanted to be a journalist, a cartoonist, or a boxer.
•    He was once asked to present a programme on children’s books, in a cage with some gorillas - but one gorilla bit him badly on the leg. It didn’t put him off them, but, he says “you wouldn’t catch me going into a cage with one again!”
•    He grew up in a pub and when he was little, would go into the bar, stand on a table and tell stories about a character he’d made up called Big Dum Tackle.
•    He wore short trousers until he was fifteen.
•    He thinks the character, Willy, is based on his own childhood.
•    When he was a boy, he wanted a real trumpet for his birthday, but he got a toy plastic one instead. He says his book, Gorilla, was partly based on that experience.
•    He loves rugby and played as a scrum-half for eighteen years.
•    His book The Tunnel was inspired by a very frightening tunnel he and his brother used to go down when they were boys.
•    When he was a medical artist, he would often eat his lunch in the mortuary.

Featured books by Anthony Browne

Other books by Anthony Browne

The Three Wishes

The Three Wishes

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/09/2022

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? Anthony Browne is back with a brilliantly funny story with a moral message at its heart. Lambert, Hilda and Ros are bored on the sofa, watching tv and a little bit grumbly. . . However after a surreal turn of events, the three friends are visited by a mysterious blue fairy who gives them more than they bargained for. Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true... The Three Wishes is a hilarious twist on a tale that focuses on the importance of being content and present in the moment.

BEAR'S MAGIC PENCIL

BEAR'S MAGIC PENCIL

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/06/2022

Bear was walking in the forest. Suddenly... What happens next? Winners of the children's competition featured in The Sun decide... Children's Laureate, Anthony Browne, has collaborated with budding author-illustrators, aged 8 and under, to create an exciting and unique picture book - combining Anthony's character - the bear with the magic pencil - with art and stories from the winning entries. Wherever Bear goes he takes his magic pencil with him. If ever he has a problem he just draws his way out of trouble - whatever he draws becomes real . . . Anthony Browne started the story of a bear with a magic pencil, and children aged eight and under were invited to join in and complete the story. Working with The Sun team, Anthony has selected the best ideas, and used them to create the rest of the story. The result is this fabulous picture book!

Ernest the Elephant

Ernest the Elephant

Author: Anthony Browne Illustrator: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2022

A poignant story about a baby elephant who gets lost in a mysterious jungle, from the acclaimed Kate Greenaway Medal-winning author-illustrator and former Children's Laureate. Ernest is a happy baby elephant. But when his curiosity gets the better of him and he leaves the rest of his herd to explore the alluring and dangerous jungle, he becomes very lost indeed. Amongst the undergrowth, he meets a rude gorilla, a weary lion, an impolite hippo and an uncaring crocodile. Will anyone help Ernest find his way out of the jungle and home to his mum? From the international phenomenon, Anthony Browne, comes a heartfelt, visually stunning picture book, about finding help in unexpected places.

Our Girl

Our Girl

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2021

The newest member of Anthony Browne's globally bestselling series - joining My Dad, My Mum and My Brother in a celebration of all things girl She's lovely, our girl! A joyful and empowering celebration of daughters, granddaughters, sisters and girl-children everywhere - showing all the many things that girls can be. A brand-new picture book from award-winning and best-loved creator, Anthony Browne.

The Animal Fair

The Animal Fair

Author: Anthony Browne Illustrator: Anthony Browne Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/06/2020

A lively and interactive pop-up nursery rhyme from Kate Greenaway Medal-winner and former Children's Laureate Anthony Browne. This pop-up interpretation of the well-loved playground rhyme is a fantastical extravaganza of illusion and surreal humour. See the crazy carousel in motion! Turn the wheel to discover the secrets of the haunted house! Look out for an elephantine sneeze! Full of Anthony's Browne's trademark surrealism and captivating detail, with the added thrill of ingenious tabs, flaps and wheels, you'll be amazed and excited, amused and delighted by the Animal Fair!

Little Frida A Story of Frida Kahlo

Little Frida A Story of Frida Kahlo

Author: Anthony Browne Illustrator: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/05/2020

One great artist inspires another, as former Children's Laureate and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal Anthony Browne creates a beautiful story about Frida Kahlo. The artwork of Frida Kahlo inspires former Children's Laureate and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal Anthony Browne in this beautiful and surreal picture book. Stunning illustrations tell the story of a lonely young girl who discovers the power of the imagination to set you free. A tribute to an iconic artist exploring themes of belonging, creativity and hope, this is an exquisite and touching picture book.

Little Frida A Story of Frida Kahlo

Little Frida A Story of Frida Kahlo

Author: Anthony Browne Illustrator: Anthony Browne Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/04/2019

One great artist inspires another, as former Children's Laureate and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal Anthony Browne creates a beautiful story about Frida Kahlo. The artwork of Frida Kahlo inspires former Children's Laureate and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal Anthony Browne in this beautiful and surreal picture book. Stunning illustrations tell the story of a lonely young girl who discovers the power of the imagination to set you free. A tribute to an iconic artist exploring themes of belonging, creativity and hope, this is an exquisite and touching picture book.

Author Info

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https://www.anthonybrownebooks.com/

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