Books by Quentin Blake

THREE LITTLE MONKEYS by Quentin Blake
Released: Nov. 7, 2017

"Children may not recognize themselves herein, but their caregivers will see their little monkeys. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Hilda Snibbs cares for Tim, Sam, and Lulu, three lively monkeys. Read full book review >
THE TALE OF KITTY-IN-BOOTS by Beatrix Potter
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A winsome story despite its flaws, this will leave readers hoping that Potter left more unpublished gems in the vault where it was discovered. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Miss Catherine St. Quintin is a mischievous kitty leading a secret double life in this recently discovered Potter tale. Read full book review >
OXFORD ROALD DAHL DICTIONARY by Roald Dahl
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Snapperwhippers aren't the only readers who will find this equally delumptious as a dictionary, a source of inspiration, and a way of revisiting a shelf of phizz-whizzing classics. (Reference. 9-13)"
Wordplay has its day in this extra-usual compilation of lexicographical delights drawn from Dahl's works. Read full book review >
ROALD DAHL'S MISCHIEF AND MAYHEM by Roald Dahl
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 14, 2015

"A properly subversive spinoff. (answers section) (Humor. 9-12)"
Attention, pranksters in search of inspiration! Learn from a master with this mix of extracted passages, quizzes and fresh, sometimes even feasible, exploits. Read full book review >
THREE LITTLE OWLS by Emanuele Luzzati
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"Happy nonsense that feels very British despite its Italian origins. (Picture book. 2-5)"
The irrepressible Blake supplies illustrations for Yeoman's English translation of the late Luzzati's rhyming verses, "Filastrocca di Natale." Read full book review >
ROSIE'S MAGIC HORSE by Russell Hoban
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 12, 2013

"It's an exuberant reminder to dream big, although, sadly, Hoban's text has been Americanized, losing some of its flavor. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A little girl finds a discarded ice-pop stick, triggering a surprising adventure in this rib-tickling fantasy. Read full book review >
QUENTIN BLAKE'S AMAZING ANIMAL STORIES by John Yeoman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2012

"Remarkable illustrations, brief retellings and clear morals do not quite make a satisfying collection. (Folk tales. 7-10)"
Fourteen animal tales are presented in the same format as Quentin Blake's Magical Tales (2012), with many of the same strengths and weaknesses. Read full book review >
QUENTIN BLAKE'S MAGICAL TALES by John Yeoman
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2012

"The pictures, full-page color and vignettes in black-and-white wash, are full of spirit and energy, their vivacious line drawing the eye again and again—the stories, however, may not be such a draw. (Folktales. 8-12)"
Quentin Blake's magical, whimsical illustrations are the best raison d'être for this eclectic and unsourced collection of stories. Read full book review >
MR. STINK by David Walliams
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 2010

"The funny bits, including Blake's occasional spot sketches, are really funny, but the rest of the trite tale comes off as no more than a convenient framework on which to hang them and a set of typecast characters. (Fiction. 10-12)"
A reeking vagrant instills homey togetherness in a family ruled by a domineering mother in this uneven production from the team behind The Boy in the Dress (2009). Read full book review >
THE BOY IN THE DRESS by David Walliams
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"The message, however—we're all a bit different, and we should follow our own bliss and accept others—is solid. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
British comedian Walliams tells the story of Dennis, who lives in a dreary house with his depressed, working-class dad and older brother. Read full book review >
THE RIGHTS OF THE READER by Daniel Pennac
Released: Nov. 1, 2008

"Previously published in Canada as Better Than Life (1994). (Essays. Adult)"
Much improved by a new translation and the addition of Blake's thoughtful introduction and inspired illustrations, this witty plaint from a popular novelist and former teacher should finally find as wide an audience in the United States as it enjoys in France and the United Kingdom. Read full book review >
ON ANGEL WINGS by Michael Morpurgo
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Blake's distinctive illustrations in watercolor and ink amplify the text with small spot illustrations on most pages and larger illustrations in glowing gold and red of the angel Gabriel. (Fiction. 7-adult)"
Blake and Morpurgo, both former holders of the British children's laureate honor, join their considerable talents in this touching Christmas story aimed at both older children and adults. Read full book review >
MICHAEL ROSEN’S SAD BOOK by Michael Rosen
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2005

"Readers burdened by similar loss will be touched by the honesty and perception here. (Picture book. 6-10)"
"Where is sad? Sad is anywhere. Read full book review >
SANTA’S LAST PRESENT by Marie-Aude Murail
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Blake's loose watercolor-and-ink illustrations and the volume's small size complement the whimsical nature of the story. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Julian is a boy of seven or eight who doesn't really believe in Santa any more, though he plays along to please his parents. Read full book review >
MRS. ARMITAGE by Quentin Blake
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Excellent for read-alouds, and besides, it will remind you to pull out his Captain Najork stories once again. (Picture book. 4-8)"
What could be more appealing than Mrs. Anastasia Armitage, sitting at table opposite her dog Breakspear of a morning, reading Uncle Cosmo's letter informing her that he's given her his old car. Read full book review >
LOVEYKINS by Quentin Blake
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2003

Engaging with eccentricity is rarely a smooth road, which is why a pairing of quirky and endearing often rings hollow. Read full book review >
WIZZIL by William Steig
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 23, 2000

"Sophisticated, they are never over the heads of the children and the adults who will enjoy Wizzil together. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Revenge can backfire as Wizzil the witch finds out in Steig's irreverent morality tale. Read full book review >
ZAGAZOO by Quentin Blake
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"This book is hilarious, and parents and children will be nodding in recognition as Zagazoo grows up and as his parents grow—happier. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Blake's take on the stages of childhood is entertainingly offbeat but right on target. Read full book review >
THE PRINCES' GIFTS by John Yeoman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 1998

Nine tales from as many countries, tenuously linked by the presence of magical items or transformations, and illustrated with Blake's characteristically energetic ink and wash sketches. Read full book review >
MRS. ARMITAGE AND THE BIG WAVE by Quentin Blake
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1998

"The heroine's no-sweat attitude, along with Blake's humorous details, are the perfect combination for beach blanket fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Surf's up and Mrs. Armitage is ready to do the California slither, Bali swerve, and Waikiki flip. Read full book review >
THE SEVEN VOYAGES OF SINBAD THE SAILOR by John Yeoman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"A fine design with a generous use of white space gives this volume the look and feel of the classic it is. (Folklore. 10-14)"
A splendiferous new presentation of an ageless yarn, replete with disasters, exotic lands, sumptuous palaces, fortunes lost and won back, and horrible monsters: ``We saw . . . a giant-like creature . . . his lower lip hung down like a camel's over his chest, his ears flopped over his shoulders like an elephant's, and his fingernails were like a lion's claws. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1994

"A note comments on the tales' places of origin without citing specific sources. (Folklore. 7+)"
With origins as far-flung as Papua New Guinea, Africa's Gold Coast, and Spain, 11 tales ranging from simple stories of the weak outwitting the strong (``The Cat and the Mice'' from Tibet; ``The Rabbit and the Elephants'' from India) and trickster and pourquoi tales to complex stories of boons granted by animals to humans (``Animal Language'' from Serbia) and the promises made (or broken) in return (the Zu§i Pueblo's ``The Turkey Girl'' is a Cinderella cognate with an unhappy ending). Read full book review >
SIMPKIN by Quentin Blake
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1994

"An entertaining portrait that's also an imaginative lesson in antonyms, presented with panache; once again, Blake's expressive, deftly scribbled drawings, enhanced with sparkling color, are a delight. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A rambunctious boy enacts a series of opposites succinctly set in verse (``Simpkin WARM and Simkin CHILLY/Simkin SENSIBLE and SILLY/And sometimes when we stand and call/Simpkin JUST NOT THERE AT ALL'') and elaborated to hilarity in Blake's happy-go- lucky art—e.g., above, Simpkin's waiting sister abruptly changes the temperature of the shower he's enjoying. Read full book review >
ALPHABEASTS by Dick King-Smith
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

"Splendid fun. (Poetry/Picture book. 6+)"
An author of popular animal fantasies proves that he's as witty a poet as he is a storyteller—here, prefacing 26 comical verse portraits with four somewhat more sober quatrains recalling species that have "shot their bolt and had their chips/And run their course and breathed their last." Read full book review >
COCKATOOS by Quentin Blake
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

"Blake's illustrations are, as ever, funny and filled with lively detail; but while this doubles as a counting book, it's as airy and weightless as a feather. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Weary of hearing the same greeting day after day—``Good morning, my fine feathered friends!''—Professor Dupont's ten cockatoos fly the coop. Read full book review >
THE VICAR OF NIBBLESWICKE by Roald Dahl
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1992

"Just a dram of Dahl, but vintage. (Fiction. 9-12 & adult)"
The nervous new vicar's youthful dyslexia suddenly resurfaces in an odd form: Certain words come out of his mouth reversed. Read full book review >
ALL JOIN IN by Quentin Blake
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1991

"Blake's ear is as good as his eye: his nifty turns of phrase are as much fun as his daft, hyperactive characters. Subversive, but never mind—''Join In!'' (Picture book. 4-8)"
Seven delightful poems, together with wickedly deft, hilarious illustrations, celebrate noise-generating activities: tantrums, gleeful squeals, sorting pots and pans, yowling back yard cats—even a bit of house cleaning ends in pandemonium here. Read full book review >
MATILDA by Quentin Blake
illustrated by Quentin Blake, by Roald Dahl
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"And Dahl slips badly when he says that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien have no 'funny bits' in their books."
After some autobiographical excursions, Dahl here returns to the sort of whimsically grotesque fantasy that makes grown-ups wince and children beg for more. Read full book review >
THE MARZIPAN PIG by Russell Hoban
Released: May 20, 1987

"A good choice for young readers who enjoy fantasy."
Long ago, Hoban wrote several quintessentially sensible picture books about Frances, a badger. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 8, 1986

"Blake's zany drawings enhance the fun."
The first American edition of two early (1978) stories by a New Zealand author who has since won two Carnegies. Read full book review >
GOING SOLO by Quentin Blake
Released: Oct. 1, 1986

"On-target bio installment with, one hopes, lots more of this engrossing life to come."
A delightfully captivating swatch of autobiography from the author of Kiss. Read full book review >
DIRTY BEASTS by Quentin Blake
POETRY
Released: April 2, 1984

"Formula material—with formula appeal."
A dozen or so rhymes, this time, about people-eating, people-pricking, -stinging, -soiling creatures: altogether, a glut of dirty beasts—pictured more freakishly than humorously in waxy cartoon-paintings. Read full book review >
THE WITCHES by Quentin Blake
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1983

"A (quicker-acting) sequel is to be eagerly expected."
By a talky, roundabout route, Dahl slyly (if deterringly) takes the narrator—ostensibly himself at seven—into the delicious, ambiguous situation of being a mouse-boy. . . who turns the tables on his tormentors. Read full book review >
ROALD DAHL'S REVOLTING RHYMES by Quentin Blake
Released: April 15, 1983

"Blake's bloodless decapitation, wolf tongue on pig tail, and well-mannered, well-fed Little Bear are just a few obvious manifestations of his own relish for mischief."
Let's admit it, you won't get through these airy fairy-tale revisions with a straight face. Read full book review >
THE BFG by Quentin Blake
illustrated by Quentin Blake, by Roald Dahl
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Nov. 1, 1982

"And it's hard to find the bumble-tongued BFG endearing."
Dahl's elemental fix on kids' consciousness gets this off to a surefire shivery start, with orphan Sophie, awake st the witching hour, snatched from her bed by a giant hand and carried off to a land of giants clear off the last page of the atlas. Read full book review >
THE TWITS by Quentin Blake
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1981

"Dahl describes all this unredeemed viciousness with a spirited, malevolent glee that plays shamelessly, and no doubt successfully, to kids' malicious impulses and unmerciful sense of justice."
The nasty streak that lurks in Dahl's stories for adults and children comes out with a vengeance in his characterization of Mr. and Mrs. Twit and the nasty tricks they play on one another. Read full book review >
THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR AND SIX MORE by Quentin Blake
FICTION
Released: Oct. 24, 1977

"This ploy gives the whole collection a self-indulgent tinge."
Odds and ends from a crack short-story craftsman, reprinted from The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines in a calculated bid for young readers. Read full book review >
A NEAR THING FOR CAPTAIN NAJORK by Quentin Blake
Released: April 16, 1976

"Runner-up."
Only Hoban could carry off a chase between Tom and Aunt Bundlejoy Cosysweet in a jam-powered frog and Captain Najork and his hired sportsmen in their pedal-powered snake. Read full book review >
DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD by Quentin Blake
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 27, 1975

"The result for Danny and his dad is an unprecedented bag of 120 birds, and though the sleeping powder does wear off the next morning so that the poachers don't hold on to quite the feast they'd planned on, there is satisfaction for everyone in seeing Mr. Hazell's big day so ingeniously dashed."
Essentially an expanded short story, but an amusing one, about how motherless Danny, nine, and his father—a mechanic and filling station owner and the best dad you could have—go pheasant poaching on the property of abusive, social climbing Mr. Victor Hazell. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 17, 1974

"And so in the end Captain Najork gets Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong and Tom gets the captain's boat and a new aunt, Bundlejoy Cosysweet, and everyone's happy — including, inevitably, the reader (or better still listener), who might not realize the wisdom but is sure to enjoy the games, their outcome, and Hoban's cadenced, light-as-air sportscasting."
Tom liked to fool around. . . . Read full book review >
GREAT DAY FOR UP! by Dr. Seuss
Released: Sept. 1, 1974

"Turn it down."
ARABEL'S RAVEN by Quentin Blake
Released: May 10, 1974

"There is enough clutching for hilarity here that some of this is bound to be funny, but the family's indulgence of the tiresome bird is hard to credit and their distraction is too often just mechanically madcap."
A deliberately farfetched uproar about the consequences of Mortimer the raven's coming home one night with the taxi-driving father of little Arabel Jones. Read full book review >
CHARLIE AND THE GREAT GLASS ELEVATOR by Quentin Blake
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1972

"With humor that depends on gratuitous references to the President's pottie or the results of a very strong laxative, with the Oompa-Loompas still fetching and carrying, this has all the faults that disturbed grown-ups and none of the inspired outrageousness that attracted children to its predecessor."
In a perfectly silly and pointlessly tastless sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mr. Willie Wonka's glass elevator goes into orbit carrying Charlie, his parents, his grandparents, and the bed that three of the grandparents haven't left for 20 years. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC FINGER by Quentin Blake
FANTASY
Released: Aug. 17, 1966

"So are the black and white illustrations of William Pene Dubois."
Remember Ruth McKenney and her sister Eileen at camp? Read full book review >