By Leonard S Marcus & illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

“It is impossible to be too much on the side of the child” – Helen Oxenbury

Few can match the impact that the beloved illustrator Helen Oxenbury has had on the world of children’s literature with her wise and superbly drawn picture books. One of the finest English illustrators of our time and celebrating her 80th birthday this year, her extraordinary body of work is exquisitely presented in this timely biography HELEN OXENBURY: A Life in Illustration by acclaimed writer Leonard S. Marcus and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, an elegant large hardback, published by Walker Books on Thursday 1 November 2018.

In a remarkable career Helen is renowned as a pioneer of children’s literature with 88 joyous and compelling books for babies, toddlers and children - and (wisely) their parents. From her very first book Numbers of Things (published in 1967) her timeless, truthful and humorous illustrations have always been recognised for their natural diversity and inclusivity. This fascinating and definitive biography showcases the astonishing breadth and variety of her art.

Helen’s unique career in children's books began in 1964 and is still going strong today. Almost every page of this biography features artwork from her picture books, from Oxenbury classics (We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Farmer Duck, So Much and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) to her more recent titles (Time Now to Dream, Captain Jack and the Pirates and The Giant Jumperee), with detailed descriptions as to how the imagery came to life.

Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration illuminates Helen’s life behind the pictures, too; as a child, a student, a mother and as an artist. With never before seen portraiture art, archive family photography (including Helen as a teenage tennis player who made Junior Wimbledon); new photography by friend and renowned photographer Nobby Clark and generous and funny stories from Helen‘s collaborators, this is a gift book for readers of all ages – nostalgic for followers of Helen’s career, picture book enthusiasts, art students, illustrators, teachers, scholars, librarians and children and an introduction to her body of work for a whole new audience.

Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration is a beautifully designed, printed, cloth bound classic and collectable book for everyone to delight in and cherish Helen Oxenbury’s life and enchanting books.

Walker Books are proud that their first biography, Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration, is and inspiring celebration of one of their original and beloved multi-award winning illustrators – Helen Oxenbury, who is absolutely part of the Walker Books history, not least because she illustrated Walker’s iconic bear logo.

All of Helen Oxenbury’s Walker books have constantly remained in print. In 2018, Walker are publishing brand new editions of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, for the 10th anniversary, and of the ground-breaking board books Clap Hands, Tickle Tickle, Say Goodnight and All Fall Down, in a fresh case bound format.

HELEN OXENBURY: A Life in Illustration by Leonard S. Marcus and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury - Walker Books Publication Date: 01 November 2018 Price: £30.00 Binding: Hardback (coffee table size) ISBN: 9781406357943

About Helen Oxenbury

Helen Oxenbury is among the most popular and critically-acclaimed illustrators of all time, and has sold over 35 million books. Married to fellow author John Burningham they were jointly awarded the Booktrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award this year 2018. Her many award-winning books for children include: We’re Going On a Bear Hunt, written by Michael Rosen; Farmer Duck, written by Martin Waddell; There’s Going to Be a Baby, written by John Burningham; So Much, written by Trish Cooke; and The Giant Jumperee written by Julia Donaldson; as well as her classic board books for babies. Helen has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice – in 1969, for The Quangle Wangle’s Hat and The Dragon of an Ordinary Family and in 1999, for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She lives in North London. Find her on Twitter as @HelenOxenbury.

Helen Oxenbury’s significant awards

1969 – Kate Greenaway Award for The Dragon of an Ordinary Family and The Quangle Wangle’s Hat 1989 – Nestle Smarties Book Prize for We’re Going on a Bear Hunt 1991 – Nestle Smarties Book Prize for Farmer Duck 1991 – Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards for Farmer Duck 1994 – Kurt Maschler Award for So Much 1994 – Nestle Smarties Book Prize for So Much 1999 – Kurt Maschler Award for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 1999 – Kate Greenaway Award for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 1999 – Booktrust Early Years Award for Tickle Tickle 2003 – Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Big Momma Makes the World 2018 – Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award

Leonard S. Marcus is one of the world’s leading writers about children’s books and their illustration. His many books include Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing; Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy; and Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter. His essays, interviews and reviews appear in the New York Times Book Review and the Horn Book magazine. He teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts and lectures around the world. Leonard lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Walker Books UK Home to books for all ages, Walker Books UK publishes many award-winning authors, illustrators and brands including Anthony Horowitz, Cassandra Clare, Lucy Cousins, Anthony Browne, Polly Dunbar, Patrick Ness and Where’s Wally? Walker Books UK is part of the vibrant international Walker Books Group that includes Candlewick Press in America, Walker Books Australia, the Walker Group Licensing division, and Walker Productions, developing Walker content for other media platforms, including Hank Zipzer for BBC. The Walker Books Group enjoys a unique ownership structure which includes all of its employees worldwide and more than 150 authors and illustrators. Walker is the world’s leading wholly independent publisher of English-language children’s books. Further information can be found at

Download Press Release... Helen Oxenbury A Life In Illustration FINAL 12July18.pdf

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