What is the use of a book, without pictures or conversations?

in Inspiration / Art

‘What is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’ It’s a question you might well be asking yourself on discovering the British Library’s upcoming exhibition Picture This: Children’s Illustrated Classics, which promises to be a treat for book lovers of all ages.

Looking at 10 beloved children’s titles from the 20th century, from Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and JRR Tolkein’s The Hobbit to Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows and Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the unique event will explore how illustrators – authors included – have interpreted and reinterpreted these timeless stories for different generations. Illustrations can after all, drastically impact how we interpret stories... For example, how could the Dahl's B.F.G be as wonderful without the wondrous charms of Quentin Blake’s anarchic drawings?

But it's not just about interpreting the work involved. This exhibition is an exclusive opportunity to take a wander down memory lane, enjoying a nostalgic appreciation of visual storytelling. Simply one that can't be missed. Find more details over at the British Library.

Autograph printer's copy of 'The Elephant's Child', Just So Stories. Illustrations by Rudyard Kipling (c) British Library Board

Autograph printer's copy of 'The Elephant's Child', Just So Stories. Illustrations by Rudyard Kipling (c) British Library Board

Paddington Bear sketch sent to Curator Dr Matthew Eve by Peggy Fortnum, illustrations (c) Peggy Fortnum

Paddington Bear sketch sent to Curator Dr Matthew Eve by Peggy Fortnum, illustrations (c) Peggy Fortnum

Wind in the Willows original artwork, illustrations (c) David Roberts

Wind in the Willows original artwork, illustrations (c) David Roberts

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl original artwork, illustrations (c) Quentin Blake

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl original artwork, illustrations (c) Quentin Blake

How the Whale Got His Throat from The Folio Society Limited Edition of Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling © Niroot Puttapipat, 2012

How the Whale Got His Throat from The Folio Society Limited Edition of Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling © Niroot Puttapipat, 2012

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Allen and Unwin), illustrations (c) Michael Foreman

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Allen and Unwin), illustrations (c) Michael Foreman

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