April 5, 2019

"Oxford Book of Poetry for Children" compiled by Edward Blishen, illustrated by Brian Wildsmith (1963)

BRIAN WILDSMITH (1930 – 2016), born in Yorkshire, England, was a British painter and children's book illustrator. He won a scholarship to London's Slade School of Fine Art, and then entered the Army and was assigned to teach mathematics. From 1954 to 1957, he returned to his first love, art, and taught it full-time. After three years, he resigned his job to become a free-lance illustrator of children's books and also created large abstract paintings. 
In all of Wildsmith's books, the illustrations are always as important as the text. His book illustrations were done in full-color, using gouache, which gives a transparent effect, or mixed with impasto, which provides a thick-textured appearance. He once described his style as representational with "abstract tendencies." 
Wildsmith won the 1962 Kate Greenaway Medal for British children's book illustration, for the wordless alphabet book ABC. For his contribution as a children's illustrator, Wildsmith was a runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1966 and 1968. 
Learn more about the illustrator. 


  1. Thanks for putting this up. This was one of my favourite books as a child. I loved the illustrations of Brian Wildsmith and had several other books of his. My father was a professor of English literature so he bought many books of poetry for me and my siblings.

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Bertram! Brian Wildsmith's work is prolific, so I hope to feature more of his illustrations in the future. Thanks, again!


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