Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake


Roald Dahl September 1916 – 23 November 1990 was a British ( welsh ) novelist, short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide.

Dahl’s short stories are known for their unexpected endings and his children’s books for their unsentimental, macabre, often darkly comic mood, featuring villainous adult enemies of the child characters. His books champion the kind-hearted and feature an underlying warm sentiment.Dahl’s works for children include James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG, The Twits and George’s Marvellous Medicine. His adult works include Tales of the Unexpected.


Sir Quentin Saxby Blake, born 16 December 1932 is an English cartoonist, illustrator and children’s writer. He may be known best for illustrating books written by Roald Dahl. For his lasting contribution as a children’s illustrator, he won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002, the highest recognition available to creators of children’s books. From 1999 to 2001 he was the inaugural British Children’s Laureate. He is a patron of the Association of Illustrators.

Few examples of Blake’s work:

“Matilda” is one of the last books written by Dahl before his death in 1990. It is the story of a girl named Matilda who has rotten parents and clashes with her wicked principal, Miss. Trunchbull. Blake’s illustrations for “Matilda” compliment the animated style of Dahl’s writing.

“James and the Giant Peach” was originally illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert in 1961, but an adapted version in 2007 was released where Blake served as the illustrator. The plot is wild, detailing a young boy’s escape from the real world through a large, magical peach with the help of a group of anthropomorphic bugs that include a grasshopper and a ladybug. Blake’s illustrated version features colourful, vibrant drawings that accompany Dahl’s vivacious plot. No other illustrated version of this story is as fun to read as Blake’s.

“The BFG tells the story of an orphan, named Sophie (after Dahl’s granddaughter), who befriends the Big Friendly Giant (BFG). He blows bottled dreams into children’s rooms at night and shows Sophie the ways of Giant Country. The book was dedicated to Dahl’s daughter Olivia, who died of measles at the age of seven in 1962. Blake was the original illustrator for “The BFG,” and his illustrations evoke an atmospheric and magical element in the BFG’s life. A Steven Spielberg-directed movie is to be released in July 2016.

During this week, David took us to see Quentin Blake’s exhibition at Cardiff National Museum. We got to see his exhibition where they display the initial developing sketches of Roald Dahl books and many other amazing illustrations made by Quentin Blake, including his draft and final works. Unfortunately, photographs weren’t allowed so I couldn’t record any of his work for my blog.

Despite that, the cool fact about the exhibition is that I got paper and crayons and the opportunity to draw my own version of his work. Also, the chance to display it on the wall next to the guy who illustrated most of my childhood books. I mean how would these great books give a sense of what’s happening in there without his narrative and image making skills. The guy who worked together with Roald Dahl to make our childhood more interesting and full of creative fantasies.

The one thing that I learned from Blake’s work is that sketching out ideas first would make my work better and stronger technically and visually.

Source: Editors

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