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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 Night Shimmy

The Night Shimmy

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2003

Eric doesn't like to talk. His secret friend, the Night Shimmy, says everything for him. Then he meets Marcia, who doesn't mind that he is quiet. As the two become friends, the Night Shimmy disappears. Angry and scared, Eric refuses to play with Marcia. But soon she needs his help and Eric discovers that he doesn't need his imaginary friend after all.

Willy The Wizard

Willy The Wizard

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/08/2003

Willy the chimp loves football and dreams of being a star player. But he doesn't have any boots so he's never been picked for the team. Then, one evening, Willy meets a mysterious stranger and his luck begins to change ...

My Dad

My Dad

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Board book Release Date: 01/05/2003

The perfect gift for Father's Day He's all right, my dad. He's as strong as a gorilla and as happy as a hippopotamus. He's a great dancer, a brilliant singer,he's fantastic at football and he makes me laugh. A lot. But that's not all that's great about my dad . . . A warm, hilarious, witty and very personal tribute to Dad (and to dads everywhere) by the ever-brilliant and inventive Anthony Browne.

The Euro, The Yes or No?

The Euro, The Yes or No?

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2001

The only viable option for a modern, efficient 21st-century Europe, or political, economic and national suicide? Cosmopolitanism or sovereignty? Britain's entry into the Euro is probably the most important economic decision that the British people will have to make in the next 50 years. Will our taxes be determined from Brussels? Will retail prices go down? Will it mean a return to boom and bust? Repeated surveys show that large majorities feel extremely ill-informed about the Euro and its implications. They are hungry to get answers to questions that go beyond the sound-bite slogans of the Europhiles and Eurosceptics. There is only one absolute certainty - the Euro will affect you. The Euro: Yes or No? will ensure you know how.

My Dad

My Dad

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/05/2000

Willy and Hugh

Willy and Hugh

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/02/2000

Willy and Hugh are very different but they can both bring something special to their friendship. This classic picture book from master artist, Anthony Browne is now available in mini treasure format. Mini treasures are delightful mini picture books to treasure forever.

Voices in the Park

Voices in the Park

Author: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/1999

Four different voices tell their own versions of the same walk in the park. The radically different perspectives give a fascinating depth to this simple story which explores many of the author's key themes, such as alienation, friendship and the bizarre amid the mundane. Anthony Browne's world-renowned artwork is full of expressive gorillas, vibrant colours and numerous nods to Magritte and other artists, while being uniquely Browne's own style.

Bear Hunt

Bear Hunt

Author: Anthony Browne Illustrator: Anthony Browne Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/09/1994

This story is all about a very clever white bear and his magic pencil. Everything Bear draws becomes real! He draws a circle and it becomes a hole through which he can escape. He even draws a rope that he can swing on. And when two bear hunters are after him, his magic pencil comes in very handy!

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.anthonybrownebooks.com/

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