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Sir Quentin Blake CBE RDI HRWS (born 1932)

Sir Quentin Blake, CBE RDI HRWS (Born 1932)

The first Children’s Laureate, Quentin Blake is undoubtedly the most popular of contemporary illustrators, a favourite with adults and children alike, with an instantly recognisable line and a back catalogue that includes some of the great children’s books of the last 50 years.

Born in Sidcup, Kent on 16 December 1932, Quentin Blake was first educated at the local Church of England primary school. While a pupil of Chiselhurst & Sidcup Grammar School, he published his first drawings in
Punch, aged just 16. During two years of National Service he taught English in the Royal Army Educational Corps at Aldershot and illustrated a book for teaching illiterate soldiers to read. He read English at Downing College, Cambridge, studying under F R Leavis. This was a discipline that developed his sympathy for literature and helped him to understand that his own artistic talents were ideally suited to illustration.

Leaving Cambridge in 1956, Quentin was awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education by the Institute of Education in 1957.