Illustrator Quentin Blake, perhaps most well known for his collaborations with Roald Dahl, celebrates his 80th birthday today.

One of THE most important and inspiring artists in the industry, ever, Blake continues to work on new projects to this day. He has over 300 books to his name as well as numerous other projects over the years, many for charitable causes. His art has been a driving force for several of the most brilliant and creative children’s books ever written – and he’s also written one or two himself.

Known for his work on children’s fiction, Blake was named the first British Children’s Laureate in 1999, and was a regular presenter on Jackanory when I was a nipper. He’s also worked as a writer, penning some 35 books of his own. His work with Dahl is perhaps his most famous, however, with his work bringing all manner of bizarre twisted celebrations to life. Dahl was a great writer, but Blake’s iconic work with characters such as The BFG, The Witches, and The Twits were a crucial element to the stories.

The British press have, rightfully, showered Blake with praise over the last few days:

The Independent: In the Studio with Quentin Blake

The BBC: Video – How Quentin Blake draws

The Guardian: Quentin Blake at 80


And his most recent art exhibition has been receiving rave reviews from critics – Blake is not a man to rest on his laurels.

So, Happy Birthday, Quentin Blake! Britain would be all the poorer without your work. Here’s to it continuing for many years to come.


  1. I love his work with Dahl, but prefer the original illustrations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Joseph Schindelman) and James and the Giant Peach (Nancy Ekholm Burkert). (That full page color illustration of James meeting the insects frightened me for years.)

    Blake’s style is a bit too happy and joyful for the darker themes in some of Dahl’s stories.

Comments are closed.