Illustrator Quentin Blake has become Sir Quentin Blake in the UK New Year Honors list. His highly distinctive drawings have helped bring to life some of the most popular characters ever in children’s literature.
His collaborations with Roald Dahl on some of his most famous books are what he is probably best known for and his sketches captured the very essence of the BFG and Willy Wonka. Quentin Blake was born in, Sidcup, South London in 1932 and has drawn ever since he can remember. Blake was educated at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before going to Downing College, Cambridge. After his National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at London University, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School. Then went on to teach over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, where he was Head of Illustration department for 8 years until 1986.
However he has always worked as an illustrator and his first drawings were shown in Punch when he was just sixteen and still at school. He has continued to draw for Punch, The Spectator and other magazines over the years. In 1960h e entered the world of children’s books with ‘A Drink of Water ‘by John Yeoman. In the world of children’s books, he is best-known for his collaboration with writers like Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, Russell Hoban, and, as said most famously, Roald Dahl. As well as illustrating classic children’s books for others, he has created much-loved characters of his own. His more recent collaborations have been with Little Britain star David Walliams and his series of children’s books.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, together with the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Award, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and also the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He was appointed the first Children’s Laureate in 1999 and won the 2002 Hans Christian Author Award for Illustration, the top international recognition for creators of children’s books.
“He can tell wonderful stories without a single word, but his partnership with Roald Dahl was made in heaven. Or somewhere. The diabolic ingenuity of Dahl came into its own only when he wrote for children. In conjunction with Blake, there was a kind of alchemy. It is a world where the good are rewarded in the story, and championed in the pictures, and where the creeps and bullies are punished in the plot and damned by the way they were drawn. I’ve never met a child who doesn’t love Quentin Blake.”
Melanie McDonagh, Daily Telegraph, April 2002
iUniverse publishing says thank you to Sir Quentin for all the joy he has brought to children all over the world with his illustrations.