Quentin Blake

Children's Laureate 2001-1999

Best known for his collaborations with some of the leading writers in children's books, Quentin Blake has an unmistakable drawing style and has done much to champion the art and joy of illustration. 

Quentin Blake read English at Cambridge, before attending Chelsea Art College. 

His first drawings were published in Punch at the age of 16 and he has since illustrated more than 250 books by 80 different writers.

His best-known collaborations include those with writers Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and, of course, Roald Dahl.

From 1978 to 1986, he was head of the illustration department at the Royal College of Art and is now a visiting professor and senior fellow.

Quentin has won many major prizes for illustration, including the Kate Greenaway Medal (1980) and the Red House Children's Book Award (1981) for Mister Magnolia; the Kurt Maschler Award (1990) for All Join In; the Bologna Ragazzi Prize (Italy) and the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (both 1996) for Clown; and the Kurt Maschler Award and Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (both 1998) for The Green Ship.

He is also the winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration and in 1990 was voted 'The Illustrator's Illustrator' by Observer Magazine.

A tireless promoter of children's literature, Quentin Blake was awarded the OBE in 1988, and in 1999, he became the inaugural Children's Laureate. 

Promoting illustration was a key focus for Quentin's time as Laureate, and he conceived the idea for the House of Illustration, the world's first centre dedicated to the art of illustration in all its forms.

As part of his laureateship, Quentin also spent a year collaborating on a project to produce a book about environmental and humanitarian issues with 1,800 French-speaking schoolchildren, entitled Un Bateau dans le Ciel (A Sailing Boat in the Sky).

In 2005, Quentin was awarded a CBE for services to Children's Literature.  

Some books by Quentin Blake

Mister Magnolia

Mister Magnolia

Quentin Blake, ,

Mr Magnolia has many things - but only one boot.

Read more about Mister Magnolia



Quentin Blake

One day a strange parcel arrives at Bella and George's door containing a lovely human baby named Zagazoo. But Zagazoo doesn’t remain a lovely human baby for long…

Read more about Zagazoo



Roald Dahl Illustrated by Quentin Blake

The BFG stands for Big Friendly Giant, who unexpectedly spirits a little girl named Sophie out of bed, and into the land of the child-eating giants.

Read more about The BFG

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