FAVE RAVE: FRED BLUNT ON MARTIN PEBBLE AND OTHERS

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We asked Fred Blunt to tell us about his favorite book:

Ah, this is next to impossible to answer! I have a few that I keep coming back to… Not Now, Bernard by David McKee is a work of minimal genius and is ace to read aloud. (A contender for favourite picture book).

From a slightly older children’s book point of view, I love Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. That’s a proper boy’s book. So full of adventure, with fantastically realised characters.

Perhaps The Twits by Roald Dahl. I just love that one, start to finish! The humour, the crazy art, the bizarre premise… I would love to know how Dahl pitched those books to the publishers, ha ha.

Another book that I love is called Martin Pebble by the great French cartoonist, Sempe. I think it was originally released in France in 1969 as Marcellin Callow, only recently having been translated in English. It is a wonderfully sprawling and heartwarming tale of childhood anxiety and friendship. In fact, I would probably say this is my favourite children’s book. I can keep coming back to this and admire the draughtsmanship or notice a new situation happening within a big spread. Each re-read is like a shot of pure joy.


Fred Blunt is a Swindon-based illustrator. After years of illustrating other people’s books (including Cow Takes A Bow, written by Russell Punter, Peter Bently’s The Knightmare series, and The Banana Bunch and The Magic Show, by Harriet Ziefert), his first book as author-illustrator –Captain Falsebeard in A Very Fishy Tale– is out now in the UK, from Penguin. (American release August, 2015.)

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