Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Celebrate illustrators as well as authors!

Yesterday was the official “Roald Dahl Day”, it's celebrated on the 13th September as it was his birthday (he would have been 95 this year). While this year's celebrations were overshadowed slightly by the uproar surrounding his families request for money to save his writing shed, the meaning behind the day should still be celebrated.

I remember reading James and the Giant Peach underneath the covers with a torch after lights out. I was forever being told off for reading after lights out, but I still read myself to sleep every evening [usually found asleep with book still fast in hand by Daddy DayCare] and reading to DangerBaby is an important part of our bedtime ritual.

Roald Dahl wrote over 50 children's books and you can't fail to have missed one of his stories (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG...) or the equally iconic images that accompany them. While the author is celebrated, the illustrations are as just as famous but can you remember the name of the illustrator...?

Quentin Blake! His style is synonymous with the Roald Dahl stories. In fact for many, the drawings that accompanied the stories were more than the 'icing on the cake' as they brought the words to life. With Dahl and Blake it is hard to imagine a Dahl story one without the Blake illustrations. 

DangerBaby currently likes to hear the words but it is the illustrations that capture her the most. Illustrators like Quentin Blake make the bedtime story enjoyable for both parent and child. But the illustrator's contribution is often overlooked. We don't have a Quentin Blake day, which is a shame.

Anna and I have been trying very hard to bring original children's illustrations to u-ni-k gifts. We found and partnered up with Colin Petty for his Victoria Plum pieces, and I've recently discovered a lady who rescues illustrations from damaged vintage children's books and frames them for prosperity. Hopefully she'll agree to work with us and they will soon feature on u-ni-k gifts.

So in honour of all the illustrators out there (including the talented Kev Brett [@kev_brett] the man behind the hilarious eBook The Monkey & The Mouse [@tmtm_comic]), I am declaring 14th September 'Illustrators Day'. Hurrah for these people who help bring the words to life.


  1. Thanks very much for including little ol' me. Very honoured to be among some awesome folk!!!

  2. More than welcome Mr. Brett. Keep Calm and Carry On Sketching.

    And everyone else should check out your lovely comic!