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Ian Beck - Illustrator

About the Illustrator

Ian Beck is a familiar name to the Doubleday/Corgi lists with his previous successful picture books. A freelance illustrator for over twenty years (including such notable artwork as the record cover for Elton John's Yellow Brick Road album), Ian turned to writing and illustrating children's books on the birth of his own first child.

Q & A with Ian Beck

1.  When did you first start to write stories or draw?

I drew incessantly as a child, but came late to writing stories.

2.  In general, where do your ideas come from?


From life or from other stories

3.  What made you write this book?


The main character of Tom Trueheart popped into my head and refused to go away, he demanded to have his stories told.

4.  What have you enjoyed most about working on this book?

The process of trimming changing and cutting the book from the first draft, and working with the editor and designer on the whole book, design, illustrations, layout etc.

5.  What is your earliest memory?


Being sent to bed early in summer and looking enviously out of the bedroom window at other children playing happily in the sunlit street.

6.  What did you enjoy most at school?


At school I enjoyed Art classes and drama, I managed to appear in two Shakespeare productions at school which gave me a lifelong love of Shakespeare.

7.  Of all the places you have lived, where have you felt most at home and why?

Where I live now in the western suburbs of London surrounded by the song of Blackbirds and near the Thames.

8.  Is there a particular holiday destination that you have visited that you would love to return to?


A little seaside town in France called St Jacut De La Mare.

9.  Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your pets, past or present?

We have no pets at the moment, although we have had two very nice Hamsters over the years.

10.  What would you say is your greatest talent?

Noticing things in detail and long term patience.

11.  What new skill – it can be anything at all – would you love to learn?


Although much too old I would love to surf the beaches of Cornwall.

12.  What is the most unusual job you have done?

Singing as part of a cabaret group in restaurants in Soho.

13.  What is your most treasured possession?

A beautiful and immaculate copy of Now We Are Six by A A  Milne which was given to me for a birthday present many years ago.

14.  Is there a particular book, author, or film that had a great impact on you in your childhood?

Book: The Just William stories by Richmal Crompton. Film: Forbidden Planet.

15.  What are your hobbies?

Listening to film music and going to the cinema as often as possible.

Featured books by Ian Beck

Only Remembered

Only Remembered

13+ readers YA readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Poems, short stories, personal letters, newspaper articles, scripts, photographs and paintings are just some of the elements of this astonishing collection, with cover and artwork by renowned illustrator, Ian Beck. Among the many contributors are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Andrew Motion, Miranda Hart, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Antony Beevor, Emma Thompson, David Almond, Dr Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis, Joanna Lumley, Raymond Briggs, Shami Chakrabarti and Sir Tony Robinson. Royalties from the publication will be spilt between the Royal British Legion and projects for soldiers' children and families at SSAFA.

ebook of the month

Other books by Ian Beck

The Call of the Wild and Other Stories

The Call of the Wild and Other Stories

Author: Jack London Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 19/02/2020

When Buck is smuggled from his beloved home in the Santa Clara Valley and forced to work as a sled-dog in the frozen wilderness of the Yukon, he must forget the long, lazy Californian days and face a life of constant toil and danger under the whip of cruel or inept masters, where survival itself must be fought for. But with his primal instincts stirred, how long can Buck resist the call of the wild? Set at the time of the Klondike Gold Rush, The Call of the Wild is one of the greatest evocations of the natural world, and perhaps the best example of London's famously urgent and vivid style. This edition also includes 'Brown Wolf', 'That Spot' and 'To Build a Fire' - three Yukon tales that demonstrate London's mastery of the short-story genre.

Kim

Kim

Author: Rudyard Kipling Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/09/2019

Kimball O'Hara, the orphaned son of an Irish soldier, spends his childhood on the bustling streets of Lahore, begging and running errands in order to survive. One day he meets an old Tibetan lama, and he decides to accompany him on his travels across the Indian Subcontinent. After falling into the hands of his father's old regiment, however, Kim is separated from the lama and sent away to school. There, his natural flair for espionage is spotted, and he soon finds himself among the majestic peaks of the Himalayas, playing a crucial part in the secret service's confrontation with Russia known as the Great Game . With its peerless evocation of the teeming cities, breathtaking landscapes and diverse cultures of late-nineteenth-century India, Kim is widely considered to be Kipling's masterpiece and one of the greatest novels written in the English language.

White Fang

White Fang

Author: Jack London Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/05/2019

Part wolf, part dog, White Fang learns to survive in the freezing wilderness. As well as being forced to confront the harsh realities of nature, the young cub experiences the cruelties of humans - but when his fortunes change, will love and civilization set him on the path to happiness? Set in the Yukon territory of Canada during the gold rush of the 1890s, White Fang is a rollicking tale of adventure which has enchanted generations of readers since its first appearance in 1906 and become a timeless children's classic.

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Greatest Stories: Oxford Level 10: The Pied Piper

Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops Greatest Stories: Oxford Level 10: The Pied Piper

Author: Adele Geras Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/05/2016

The peaceful town of Hamelin is overrun with rats: they are raiding larders, hiding in cupboards, sneaking into bed linen and driving the locals to despair. Desperate for help, they turn to the mysterious Pied Piper who promises a solution. But when the Piper falls out with the mayor, he takes away more than the townspeople ever expected. A wonderfully vivid interpretation of the story, which tackles trust, pride and revenge. TreeTops Greatest Stories offers children some of the worlds best-loved tales in a collection of timeless classics. Top children's authors and talented illustrators work together to bring to life our literary heritage for a new generation, engaging and delighting children. The books are carefully levelled, making it easy to match every child to the right book. Each book contains inside cover notes to help children explore the content, supporting their reading development. Teaching notes on Oxford Owl offer cross-curricular links and activities to support guided reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The Jungle Books

The Jungle Books

Author: Rudyard Kipling Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/04/2016

The adventures of Mowgli, the young man raised by wolves in the jungles of Central India, and his friends Baloo the bear, Bagheera the panther and Kaa the python, as they face the arch villain Shere Khan the tiger, have become so popular that they have achieved an almost mythical status throughout the world. They were collected by Kipling in The Jungle Book and its sequel, The Second Jungle Book, which also contain other stories set in India which prominently feature animals, such as the well-known 'Rikki-Tikki-Tavi', which describes the struggles of a mongoose against venomous cobras. Here presented with brand-new illustrations by Ian Beck, these hugely popular tales, inspired by ancient fables and Kipling's own experiences in India, form a vivid account of the relationship between humans and nature, and will continue to inspire readers young and old.

Alone in the Woods

Alone in the Woods

Author: Ian Beck Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2008

Teddy is guarding the picnic, but suddenly the wind goes whoosh. Before he knows it, Teddy is floating high into the sky with Lily's kite. Soon the wind drops and Teddy tumbles down into the trees but he realises he's all alone...or is he?

Digory the Dragon Slayer

Digory the Dragon Slayer

Author: Angela Mcallister Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2005

Digory is an ordinary, quiet, dreamy and gentle boy. He likes playing his lute, singing songs and picnicking in the forest - quite unlike all the other boys in his village of Batty-by-Noodle. When he stumbles upon a large tooth while poking about in the sticks and nonchalantly tucks it in his hat, little does he suspect the awesome welcome he will get on his return to the village that day. Hailed as a hero for slaying a dragon (which, as we know, he never did) and hurriedly knighted for his courageous act, Digory is sent off on his deaf horse, Barley, to be a chivalrous knight and perform chivalrous deeds. Digory is not really a dragon slayer but, in spite of this fact, will he be able to live up to his name, save the day and the damsel of his dreams?

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