Tag: Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake: In the Theatre of the Imagination

Quentin Blake: In the Theatre of the Imagination – An Artist at Work

by Ghislaine Kenyon (Bloomsbury, 2016)

Kenyon_Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake’s art is distinctive and greatly beloved. Kenyon’s analysis-cum-tribute focusses on how Blake’s personality—his Francophilia and appreciation of literature; his positive outlook and playful, empathic eye for other people’s experiences; his quiet attentiveness and generous spirit—manifests in his work.



A Moose that says Moooooooooo

A Moose that says Moooooooooo

by Jennifer Hamburg; ill. Sue Truesdell (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013)

Hamburg_Moose that says Moo

The moose barely features but it does start the fun, Hamburg letting her hair down in a freewheeling animals-gone-wild story (spoilt only by occasional stumbles in her Dr Seuss-like amphibrachic tetrameter). Truesdell captures the chaos with vibrant illustrations à la Quentin Blake.



The Enormous Crocodile

The Enormous Crocodile

by Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape, 1978); audiobook read by Stephen Fry (Puffin, 2013)

Dahl_Enormous Crocodile

A classic safe scare for young middle grade readers, the audiobook stripped of Quentin Blake’s illustrations but enhanced in compensation by Stephen Fry’s delivery (albeit that the background soundscape becomes tiresome, especially when signifying the crocodile’s trademark ‘secret plans and clever tricks’).



Agaton Sax and Lispington’s Grandfather Clock

Agaton Sax and Lispington’s Grandfather Clock

by Nils-Olof Franzén; ill. Quentin Blake (Andre Deutsch, 1978)

Franzen_Lispington's Grandfather Clock

The last of Franzén’s Agaton Sax books sees the great detective once again triumphant in the face of nefarious criminal undertakings, the harried mishaps of his good friend Inspector Lispington, and even the unfortunate magnetism of Andreas Kark. A fittingly ebullient finale.



Great Day For Up

Great Day For Up

by Dr. Seuss; ill. Quentin Blake (Random House, 1974)

Dr Seuss_Great Day For Up

The first Dr Seuss book not illustrated by the man himself, Great Day For Up was brought to life instead by the redoubtable — and equally inimitable — Quentin Blake. The rhythm is slippery at times but the book verily fizzes with joyous exuberance.



Agaton Sax and the Haunted House

Agaton Sax and the Haunted House

by Nils-Olof Franzén; illustrated by Quentin Blake (Andre Deutsch, 1975)

Franzen_Agaton Sax and the Haunted House

Bolstered by Blake’s zesty drawings, Franzén gives YA readers the perfect introduction to crime fiction. His irrepressibly competent Swedish detective Agaton Sax, along with the harried, hapless Inspector Lispington, form a memorable duo fighting the bumbling wiles of the international criminal fraternity.


The Great Piratical Rumbustification

The Great Piratical Rumbustification (& The Librarian and the Robbers)

by Margaret Mahy (J. M. Dent, 1978)

Mahy_The Great Piratical Rumbustification

Two stories by New Zealand’s doyen of children’s books: the second, a quietly subversive extolment of libraries; the first, a droll yet puckishly young-at-heart parable on quality of life, with bonhomous pictures by Quentin Blake and an endearingly rumtiddlyumptious neologism to boot!

Lester and the Unusual Pet

Lester and the Unusual Pet

by Quentin Blake (Picture Lions, 1975)

Blake_Lester and the Unusual Pet

Known for illustrating other people’s books (most notably Roald Dahl’s), Quentin Blake also writes many himself. Lester and the Unusual Pet showcases his understated absurdism — Salvador Dalí for children, almost — in a joyous, freewheeling, lazy afternoon paean to young imaginations running rife.