|Sir Quentin Blake|
16 December 1932 |
Sidcup, Kent, England, UK
|Training||Chelsea School of Art|
|Awards||Kate Greenaway Medal
Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration
Blake was born in 1932 in Sidcup, Kent, and was evacuated to the West Country during the war. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, where his English teacher, J H Walsh, influenced his ambition to become involved in literature. His first published drawing was for the satirical magazine Punch, at the age of 16. He read English Literature at Downing College, Cambridge from 1953 to 1956, received his postgraduate teaching diploma from the University of London, and later studied at the Chelsea School of Art. He gained another teaching diploma at the Institute of Education before working at the Royal College of Art for over twenty years; he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 to 1986.
Blake gained a reputation as a reliable and humorous illustrator of more than 300 children's books, including some written by Joan Aiken, Elizabeth Bowen, Roald Dahl, Nils-Olof Franzén, William Steig, and Dr. Seuss —the first Seuss book that "Seuss" did not illustrate himself, Great Day for Up! (1974).
As of 2006, Blake is the author or illustrator of 323 books of which he wrote 35 himself and Dahl wrote 18. He recently illustrated David Walliams's first and second books, The Boy in the Dress and Mr Stink.
Other activities 
Quentin Blake is patron of the Blake Society, Downing College's arts and humanities society. He is also a patron of "The Big Draw" which aims to get people drawing throughout the United Kingdom, and of The Nightingale Project, a charity that puts art into hospitals. Since 2006 he has produced work for several hospitals and mental health centres in the London area, a children's hospital (hopital Armand Trousseau) in Paris, and a maternity hospital in Angers, France. These projects are detailed in Blake's 2012 book Quentin Blake: Beyond the Page, which describes how, in his seventies, his work has increasingly appeared outside the pages of books, in public places such as hospitals, theatre foyers, galleries and museums.
In 2007 he designed a huge mural on fabric, suspended over and thus disguising a ramshackle building immediately opposite an entrance to St Pancras railway station. The rendering of an "imaginary welcoming committee" greets passengers arriving on the Eurostar high-speed railway.
Blake is also the designer of 'Ben', the 'logo' of the shop chain, Ben's Cookies.
Quentin Blake is a supporter and Ambassador for the indigenous rights NGO, Survival International. In 2009, he said, "For me, Survival is important for two reasons; one is that I think it’s right that we should give help and support to people who are threatened by the rapacious industrial society we have created; and the other that, more generally, it gives an important signal about how we all ought to be looking after the world. Its message is the most fundamental of any charity I'm connected with."
Selected works 
- Patrick (Jonathan Cape, 1968)
- Jack and Nancy (Cape, 1969)
- Angelo (Cape, 1970)
- Snuff (Cape, 1973)
- Lester at the Seaside (William Collins, Sons, 1975)
- Lester and the Unusual Pet (Collins, 1975)
- The Adventures of Lester (BBC, 1977)
- Mister Magnolia (Cape, 1980) —winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal
- Quentin Blake's Nursery Rhyme Book (Cape, 1983)
- The Story of the Dancing Frog (Cape, 1984)
- Mrs Armitage On Wheels (Cape, 1987)
- Quentin Blake's ABC (Cape, 1989)
- All Join In (Cape, 1990) —winner of the Kurt Maschler Award for integrated text and illustration
- Cockatoos (Cape, 1992)
- Simpkin (Cape, 199)
- The Quentin Blake Book of Nonsense Verse (Viking Press, 1994)
- Clown (Cape, 1995) —commended runner up for the Greenaway Medal[b]
- La Vie de la Page (Gallimard, 1995)
- Mrs Armitage and the Big Wave (Cape, 1997)
- Dix Grenouilles (Ten Frogs) (Gallimard, 1997)
- The Green Ship (Cape, 1998)
- Zagazoo (Cape, 1998)
- Zap! The Quentin Blake Guide to Electrical Safety (Eastern Electricity, 1998)
- Fantastic Daisy Artichoke (Cape, 1999)
- The Laureate's Party (Random House, 2000)
- Un Bateau Dans le Ciel (Rue du Monde, 2000)
- Words and Pictures (Cape, 2000)
- Tell Me a Picture (National Gallery, 2001)
- Loveykins (Cape, 2002)
- Laureate's Progress (Cape, 2002)
- Mrs Armitage, Queen of the Road (Cape, 2003)
- A Sailing Boat In The Sky (Random House: Red Fox, 2003)
- Angel Pavement (Cape, 2004)
- You're Only Young Twice (Andersen Press, 2008)
- Daddy Lost his Head (Andre Bouchard, 2009)
- Quentin Blake: Beyond the Page (Tate Publishing Ltd, 2012)
As illustrator 
- The Wonderful Buttonm by Evan Hunter (Abelard-Schuman, 1961)
- The Wild Washerwomen: A new folk tale, by John Yeoman (1979) —highly commended runner up for the Greenaway Medal[b]
- Sad Book, by Michael Rosen (2004)
Blake has illustrated a score of books by Roald Dahl.[a]
- Agaton Sax and the Diamond Thieves, 1965
- Agaton Sax and the Scotland Yard Mystery, 1969
- Agaton Sax and the Max Brothers (a.k.a. Bank Robbers), 1970
- Agaton Sax and the Criminal Doubles, 1971
- Agaton Sax and the Colossus of Rhodes, 1972
- Agaton Sax and the London Computer Plot, 1973
- Agaton Sax and the League of Silent Exploders, 1974
- Agaton Sax and the Haunted House, 1975
- Agaton Sax and the Big Rig (extended), 1976
- Agaton Sax and Lispington's Grandfather Clock, 1978
- The Learning Journey —National Curriculum, key stages 1 and 2, illustrated editions for parents
Honours and awards 
Blake was the inaugural British Children's Laureate (1999–2001) and he received the biennial Hans Christian Andersen Award from the International Board on Books for Young People for his career contribution to children's literature in 2002. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2005 New Year Honours for his services to children's literature. In France he was made a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2002 and elevated to Officer in 2007.
For Mister Magnolia, which he also wrote, Blake won the 1980 Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject. For the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005), a panel of experts named it one of the top ten winning works, which composed the ballot for a public election of the nation's favourite. He was also a highly commended runner up[b] for The Wild Washerwomen: A new folk tale, by John Yeoman (1979), and a commended runner up[b] for Clown (1995), which he wrote himself. He made the Greenaway shortlist[b] for Zagazoo (1998), which he wrote, and for Sad Book (2004) by Michael Rosen.
Blake was awarded the Prince Philip Designers' Prize in 2011.
See also 
- WorldCat reports the twenty works by Blake that are most widely held by participating libraries. They are seventeen books written by Roald Dahl, Great Day for Up! by Dr. Seuss (rank 5), Michael Rosen's Sad Book (rank 14), and Wizzil by William Steig (rank 18).
• "Blake, Quentin". WorldCat. Retrieved 2012-08-30.
- Today there are usually eight books on the Greenaway Medal shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners up through 2002 were Commended (from 1959) or Highly Commended (from 1974). There were 99 commendations of both kinds in 44 years including two for 1979 (Blake highly commended) and two for 1995 (one highly).
- Dr. Seuss (1974). Great Day for Up!. Beginner Books. OCLC 902800.
- The Campaign for Drawing. thebigdraw.org.uk.
- "The Nightingale Project". The Nightingale Project. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Quentin Blake - Home". Quentin Blake. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Quentin Blake: Beyond the Page, 2012, Tate Publishing.
- "Cover-up! Quentin Blake drafted in to hide 'unsightly' buildings". Richard Osley. The Independent 21 October 2007.
- "2010 Annual Report". Survival International
- Quentin Blake : Books : Bibliography.[dead link]
- "Books by Quentin Blake" (incomplete; no list). Quentin Blake.
- (Greenaway Winner 1980). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
- "Kurt Maschler Awards". Book Awards. bizland.com. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Kate Greenaway Medal". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-06-26.
- Quentin Blake - website of Gallimard Jeunesse
- "70 Years Celebration: Anniversary Top Tens". The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
- "Quentin Blake knighted in Queen's New Year honours". BBC News. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- D. Martin, "Quentin Blake", in Douglas Martin, The Telling Line: Essays On Fifteen Contemporary Book Illustrators (Julia MacRae Books, 1989), pp. 243–263
- Quentin Blake, "Research from an illustrator's point of view", in Research in Illustration: Conference Proceedings Part II (Brighton Polytechnic) (1981), pp. 25–61
- Official website
- Quentin Blake at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
- Quentin Blake at British Council: Literature
- Quentin Blake: Biography at the British Cartoon Archive, University of Kent
- Quentin Blake at Andersen Press[dead link]
- Interviews and articles
- "A free hand", Stuart Jeffries with Quentin Blake, The Guardian, 27 September 2007
- Quentin Blake tells his life story (recording in 65 parts) at Web of Stories
- Quentin Blake: Winner, Hans Christian Andersen Award, 2002 (recording), The Hans Christian Andersen Collection at Northwestern
- Report on community dialogue in 2007[dead link]
- Quentin Blake feature from Random House[dead link]
- "What is illustration?" (YouTube recording), extract from a presentation given by Quentin Blake to a teachers' workshop run by the House of Illustration and DCSF in July 2008
-  "Quentin Blake at 80: the illustrator's magical art," Jenny Uglow, The Guardian, 14 December 2012
|Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom