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Raymond Briggs: a lifetime in books

The Man

Raymond Briggs won our Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 – and with very good reason.

He's been writing and illustrating for decades and has won over legions of fans with his ability to be outrageously funny but also moving and reflective. He's unafraid to steer children and adults through some of life's big themes, but always in a way that's completely engaging. His stories and drawings live long in the mind.

Below are some of our favourites, covering a wide range of reading ages – from teeny tots to reluctant grown-ups. If you only know a couple of Raymond Briggs' works, you're in for a treat...

More on the Lifetime Achievement Award

  • The Elephant and the Bad Baby

    Author: Elfrida Vipont Illustrator: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Puffin

    One day, an elephant offers a baby a ride through the town, and the set off on a great adventure.

  • Ug

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Random House

    Ug and his parents live in the Stone Age. This means stone blankets, stone-cold food, an even colder cave and, worst of all, hard stone trousers!

  • Father Christmas Goes on Holiday

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Puffin Books

    Raymond Briggs' classic comic book has all of his trademark humour and an endearingly grumpy Father Christmas

  • Father Christmas

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

    For poor Father Christmas, December 24th is the hardest night of work in the year. Raymond Briggs follows him on his wonderfully grumpy and funny journey, revealing some beautifully illustrated moments of joy.

  • Fungus the Bogeyman

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin

    This sophisticated cartoon-strip picture book for older children follows one day in the life of Fungus, a morose bogeyman who scares humans - but starts wondering what it's really all for? This is Briggs at his subversive and entertaining finest.

  • The Man

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Random House

    The Man is a dialogue between a boy, John, and a tiny naked man who appears in the middle of the night, demanding clothes. The book perfectly captures an enchanting friendship with its message of kindness and intolerance of prejudice.

  • Gentleman Jim

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Vintage

    The life of toilet attendant Jim Bloggs is pretty dreary and his great wish is to escape. Will he manage to do so? Briggs' story is funny and uplifting, with beautiful, delicate illustrations - a charming story for dreamers.

  • Jim and the Beanstalk

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin

    This is a fun, engaging re-telling of the original folklore story of Jack and the Beanstalk, which also doubles as a clever sequel - an excellent picture book for early readers.

  • The Bear

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin

    Young Tilly is delighted when a polar bear clambers through her bedroom window one night - but are mischievous polar bears really ideal domestic pets? The Bear is a warm story about kindness, caring, and letting go.

  • Ethel & Ernest

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Vintage publishing

    Ethel & Ernest tells the story of Raymond Briggs' parents, from 1928 to their deaths in the 70s - spanning a period of great social change for the country. Although your eyes will mist up by the end, you'll also wear a big, tender smile.

  • When the Wind Blows

    Author: Raymond Briggs
    Publisher: Penguin

    Jim and Hilda are your typical couple, living in rural England. When warned of a nuclear strike, they resurrect a 'wartime spirit' - surely everything will be all right in the end? This graphic novel is powerful, heartbreaking and educational.