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Magic Pencil: Children's Book Illustration Today [Hardcover]

Quentin Blake
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 May 2002
This highly illustrated volume features the work of 13 of the top contemporary children's book illustrators working in the UK. Each chapter contains a commentary by the illustrator, introducing their work and explaining how they started to illustrate children's books, and features several original artworks by each one. Quentin Blake's introduction reflects on the complexities of providing an illustrative response to the characters and activities of a writer: Joanna Carey, formerly Children's Book Editor of the "Guardian", contributes to an illustrated essay on the history of children's book illustration, from the work of Cruikshank, Ardizzone and Walter Crane, to the instantly recognizable pictures from Winnie the Pooh and the tales of Beatrix Potter. The illustrators featured are: Angela Barrett; Quentin Blake; Lauren Child; Patrick Benson; Raymond Briggs; Sara Fanelli; Stephen Biesty; John Burningham; Michael Foreman; Tony Ross; Posy Simmonds; Emma Chichester Clark; and Charlotte Voake.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division (8 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712347704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712347709
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 28.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but too little information 16 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This book is inspiring for people interested in illustration and children's books. It includes coloured pictures on almost all pages and has an excellently informative introduction.
But the text on each illustrator is too vague and chatty, leaving the reader yearning for more information. And what annoys me is that each illustrator seems to mention the ones they admire most, often referring to the same people and to Quentin Blake, who edited this book.... ugh
I wasn't too keen on the cover or book lay-out either - it looks like a kid's text book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quentin YOU are the Star 4 Aug 2014
I love his drawings and any book that I can get with them in gets a 5* from me.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what it says it is 30 Dec 2009
By Kay J - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a nice introduction to Americans about what British illustration for Children's Book is - sadly, it never really gets past this.

I was hoping for a little more sketches and other drawings from the brilliant artists feature, unfortunately, only a handful of the artists apparently got this memo - the vast majority of the book is just reprints from children's classics that you probably already own or have seen. Raymond Briggs and Posy Simmonds sections are my favourite, and show what this book could have been.

Regardless of my little nitpicking there - the illustrations are nice, varied, and beautifully reproduced. The intro is a nice walk through of the genre, and includes many small reprints of classic paintings.

It's a nice book, especially if you're American. I would definitely get the artist's other collections though.
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