Celebrating the work of Quentin Blake and John Yeoman, and 50 years of children’s books

Up with Birds © Quentin Blake

An exhibition celebrating Quentin Blake's 50-year partnership with author John Yeoman opens at The National Centre for Craft and Design this Spring.

Quentin Blake & John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books is a touring exhibition from House of Illustration, curated by Quentin Blake. It promises to delight visitors of all ages and starts its journey at the Lincolnshire venue on 4 May.

John Yeoman and Quentin Blake have created more books together than Blake has with any other author, including Roald Dahl. The show includes Blake’s very first illustrations for children’s literature, which Yeoman persuaded Blake to draw in 1960, as well as work from their most recent collaboration and 10 projects in between – from picture books and short novels for children to adaptations of classic folk tales.

All The Year Round © Quentin Blake

All The Year Round © Quentin Blake

By touring the exhibition, House of Illustration continues its celebration of the re-issue of A Drink of Water (Blake and Yeoman’s first book) in 2017, by Thames & Hudson, and the launch of All the Year Round (their latest book) by Andersen Press.

In addition to illustrations from these two books, the exhibition features artwork from a further 10 collaborative projects: The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers; Mouse Trouble; The Fabulous Foskett Family Circus; Quentin Blake’s Amazing Animal Stories; The World’s Laziest Duck and other Amazing Records; The Hermit and the Bear; Featherbrains; The Heron and the Crane; Sixes and Sevens; and Up with Birds.

 All The Year Round © Quentin Blake

All The Year Round © Quentin Blake

The exhibition includes an inviting space for reading and creative activity where visitors can escape further into a magical world of imagination. A lively programme of storytelling, performance and workshops will run alongside the show, with something for all ages to enjoy.

To celebrate the exhibition, the National Centre for Craft and Design is inviting children and young people to write and illustrate their own original short story for the competition: Picture this Story. There are three age categories: 5-9 years, 10-13 years and 14-18 years. Stories of no more than 500 words with up to four illustrations are welcomed. Winners and runners up will then be exhibited at the Centre and receive a copy of their story in print. (Entries from Sat 6 April until Monday 10 June).

Quentin Blake & John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books opens at The National Centre for Craft and Design on 4 May and run until 7 July 2019. Discover more: www.nationalcraftanddesign.org.uk.