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Helen Oxenbury: a lifetime in books

Friends

Helen Oxenbury won our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.

She's been illustrating children's books for most of her adult life and has won countless awards. How many childhoods would be changed forever without memories of her drawings for We're Going On A Bear Hunt or her classic board books for babies?

There's a warmth and playfulness to Helen's illustrations that makes everything come alive and seem to leap from the page.

We couldn't squeeze everything she's worked on into this booklist (it would be a very long list!), but here are some of our favourites that we're sure you and your child will love...

You might also like: a list of books by John Burningham, who jointly won the award in 2018. 

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

    Author: Lewis Carroll Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    This lovely edition illustrated by Helen Oxenbury won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1999.

  • We're Going on a Bear Hunt

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Follow a father and his family as they go out in search of a bear.

  • Big Momma Makes the World

    Author: Phyllis Root Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Candlewick Press

    This beautiful reimagining of the Christian creation myth places Big Momma as Creator: a rounded, plain speaking woman with a baby, whose warm Big Momma voice speaks the universe into being. A truly amazing book to share.

  • Charley's First Night

    Author: Amy Hest Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    On his first night at home, Charley the puppy is given a guided tour by his new owner, Henry.

  • So Much

    Author: Trish Cooke Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    One by one, family members drop by on a mum and her tot – all wanting to squeeze, kiss and give undivided attention to the baby. An adorable picture book, which is high-spirited, vibrant and fun. 

  • King Jack and the Dragon

    Author: Peter Bently Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Puffin Books

    The wonderful rhyming text and charming illustrations create a beautifully paced and reassuring picture book

  • Friends

    Author: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Great for the youngest of babies as it invites adults to talk about the pictures and to interact with their baby as they look at the book together.

  • Farmer Duck

    Author: Martin Waddell Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    There once was a lazy farmer who spent his days in bed eating chocolate while his duck did all the hard work around the farm.

  • There's Going to be a Baby

    Author: John Burningham Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    A mother tells her little boy that ‘there’s going to be a baby’, but the little boy doesn’t like the sound of this – he doesn’t think they really need the new baby…

  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes

    Author: Mem Fox Illustrator: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    This charming first book is perfect for new arrivals.

  • Tickle, Tickle

    Author: Helen Oxenbury
    Publisher: Walker Books

    Ideal for any time of the day, especially bathtime and bedtime, the language and repetition make this book good to read aloud.