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Anthony Browne (author)

Anthony Browne
Browne in 2010
Born Anthony Edward Tudor Browne
(1946-09-11) 11 September 1946
Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, UK
Occupation Illustrator, writer
Nationality British
Period 1976–present
Genre Children's picture books
Notable works Gorilla
Notable awards Kate Greenaway Medal
1983, 1992
Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration

Anthony Edward Tudor Browne[1] (born 11 September 1946)[2] is a British writer and illustrator of children's books, primarily picture books, with nearly forty titles to his name.[3] For his lasting contribution as a children's illustrator he won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2000, the highest recognition available to creators of children's books.[4][5] From 2009 to 2011 he was Children's Laureate.[6][7]

Browne won two Kate Greenaway Medals from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration. For the 50th anniversary of the Medal (1955–2005), a panel named his 1983 medalist Gorilla one of the top ten winning works, which composed the ballot for a public election of the nation's favourite.[8]


  • Life and work 1
  • Works 2
    • As writer and illustrator 2.1
    • As illustrator 2.2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6
  • External links 7

Life and work

Anthony Browne was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire. His parents, Jack and Doris May Browne, owned a pub near Bradford, Yorkshire, and Browne and his older brother Michael grew up there.[1] As a young boy, he enjoyed art, and used to draw with his father. He also played rugby in school, as well as football and cricket. His career ambition was then to be a journalist, a cartoonist, or a boxer.[9] He studied graphic design at Leeds College of Art, where he graduated in 1967.

When he finished school Browne intended to become a painter, but being short of money he took a job as a medical illustrator, drawing the insides of bodies for Manchester Royal Infirmary. After three years he grew tired of the job's repetitiveness and moved on to design greeting cards for Gordon Fraser. He designed cards for fifteen years before he started writing and illustrating his own books.

His debut book both as writer and as illustrator was Through the Magic Mirror, published by Hamish Hamilton in 1976. A Walk in the Park followed next year and gained a cult following and Bear Hunt (1979) was more successful commercially.[10] His breakthrough came with Gorilla, published by Julia MacRae in 1983, based on one of his greeting cards. For it he won the Kate Greenaway Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's best children's book illustration by a British subject.[11] He was a highly commended runner-up[1] for an edition of Alice in Wonderland (1988),[12] he won the 1992 Medal for Zoo[13] and he was again highly commended for Willy's Pictures (2000).[12]

Browne and writer Annalena McAfee won the 1985 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, Picture Book category, for Mein Papi, nur meiner! (The Visitors Who Came to Stay).

He also won the Kurt Maschler Award three times, perhaps five "Emils", which annually (1982 to 1999) recognised one British "work of imagination for children, in which text and illustration are integrated so that each enhances and balances the other."[14] Browne was a winner for Gorilla (Julia MacRae Books, 1983), Alice's Adventure in Wonderland (MacRae, 1988) and Voices in the Park (Doubleday, 1998), as the illustrator of all three books and the writer of two.[14]

Gorillas are frequently featured in Browne's books, as he has said he is fascinated by them. He was once asked to present a children's programme, whilst sitting in a cage of gorillas, and despite being badly bitten by one of them he got on with it before being taken to hospital.[15] His character "Willy" is said to be based on himself. He currently lives in Canterbury, Kent.[9]

On 9 June 2009 he was appointed the sixth Children's Laureate (2009–2011), selected by a panel that former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion chaired.[6]


As writer and illustrator

  • Through the Magic Mirror (Hamish Hamilton, 1976)
  • A Walk in the Park (Hamilton, 1977)
  • Bear Hunt (Hamilton, 1979)
  • Look What I've Got! (Julia MacRae Books, 1980)
  • Gorilla (MacRae, 1983) —winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration[11] and the Emil[14]
  • Willy the Wimp (MacRae, 1984)
  • Willy the Champ (MacRae, 1985)
  • Piggybook (MacRae, 1986)
  • I Like Books (MacRae, 1988)
  • The Little Bear Book (Hamilton, 1988)
  • A Bear-y Tale (Hamilton, 1989)
  • Things I Like (MacRae, 1989)
  • The Tunnel (MacRae, 1989)
  • Changes (MacRae, 1990)
  • Willy and Hugh (MacRae, 1991)
  • Zoo (MacRae, 1992) —winner of the Greenaway Medal[13]
  • The Big Baby: a little joke (MacRae, 1993)
  • Willy the Wizard (MacRae, 1995)
  • Willy the Dreamer (Walker, 1997)
  • Voices in the Park (Doubleday, 1998) —winner of the Emil[14]
  • My Dad (Doubleday, 2000)
  • Willy's Pictures (Walker, 2000) —highly commended for the Greenaway[12][1]
  • Anthony Browne Presents the Animal Fair: a spectacular pop-up (Walker, 2002)
  • The Shape Game (MacRae, 2003)
  • Into the Forest (MacRae, 2004)
  • My Mum (Doubleday, 2005)
  • Silly Billy (Walker, 2006)
  • My Brother (Doubleday, 2007)
  • Little Beauty (Walker, 2008)
  • Me and You (Doubleday, 2011) —a retelling of The Story of the Three Bears in a contemporary setting
  • How Do You Feel? (Walker, 2011, ISBN 9781406330175)

As illustrator

  • Hansel and Gretel by Brothers Grimm (MacRae, 1981)
  • The Visitors Who Came to Stay by Annalena McAfee (Hamilton, 1984) – winner of the 1985 German youth literature prize for picture books in its German-language translation retaining Browne's illustrations
  • Knock, knock! Who's there? by Sally Grindley (Hamilton, 1985), picture book
  • Kirsty Knows Best by Annalena McAfee (MacRae, 1987), picture book
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (MacRae, 1988) – an edition of the 1865 classic, highly commended for the Greenaway[12][1] and winner of the Emil[14]
  • Trail of Stones by Gwen Strauss (MacRae, 1990), picture book
  • The Night Shimmy by Gwen Strauss (MacRae, 1991), picture book
  • The Topiary Garden by Janni Howker (Hamilton, 1993), short stories published 1991
  • Anthony Browne's King Kong (MacRae, 1994) – from the 1932 novelised story of King Kong
  • The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan (New York: HarperCollins, 1994), novella

See also


  1. ^ a b c Today there are usually eight books on the Greenaway Medal shortlist. According to CCSU, some runners-up through 2002 up were Commended (from 1959) or Highly Commended (from 1974). There were 99 commendations of both kinds in 44 years; 31 high commendations in 29 years, including Browne and two others for 1988, Browne alone for 2000.
    • No one has won three Greenaways. Among the fourteen illustrators with two Medals, Browne is one of seven with one book named to the top ten (1955–2005) and one of seven with at least one Highly Commended runner-up (1974–2002), led by Helen Oxenbury with four and Browne with two.


  1. ^ a b "Anthony (Edward Tudor) Browne (1946–) Biography". Net Industries. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  2. ^ "Anthony Browne". Author & Illustrator Archive. The Wee Web ( Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  3. ^ "Browne, Anthony". Original artwork from children's book illustrators. Images of Delight. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  4. ^ "Hans Christian Andersen Awards".International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  5. ^ "Anthony Browne" (pp. 104–05, by Sus Rostrup).
    The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, 1956–2002. IBBY. Gyldendal. 2002. Hosted by Austrian Literature Online ( Retrieved 2013-07-23.
  6. ^ a b Flood, Alison (9 June 2009). "Gorilla artist Anthony Browne becomes children's laureate". The Guardian.
  7. ^ "Anthony Browne: Children's Laureate 2009–11". Children's Laureate ( Booktrust. Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  8. ^ "70 Years Celebration: Anniversary Top Tens". The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  9. ^ a b "Anthony Browne". Walker Books. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 
  10. ^  
  11. ^ a b (Greenaway Winner 1983). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  12. ^ a b c d "Kate Greenaway Medal". 2007(?). Curriculum Lab. Elihu Burritt Library. Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). Retrieved 2012-06-26.
  13. ^ a b (Greenaway Winner 1992). Living Archive: Celebrating the Carnegie and Greenaway Winners. CILIP. Retrieved 2012-07-17.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Kurt Maschler Awards". Book Awards. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  15. ^ Atkinson, Frances (2 July 2006). "Monkey Business". The Age. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

Further reading

  • D. Martin, "Anthony Browne", in Douglas Martin, The Telling Line: Essays On Fifteen Contemporary Book Illustrators (Julia MacRae Books, 1989), pp. 279–90.
  • Jane Doonan, "The object lesson: picture books of Anthony Browne", Word & Image 2:2 (1986 April–June), pp. 159–72.
  • Tony Bradman, "Through the magic mirror: the work of Anthony Browne", British Book News, 1984 Autumn [Children's Books], pp. 2–5.
  • Ellen Handler Spitz, Inside Picture Books, Yale University Press, 1999, pp. 192–94.

External links

  • Browne Works by or about Anthony Browne in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Anthony Browne at British Council: Literature
  • Anthony Browne index at The Guardian —includes one Gallery (14 pictures)
  • Anthony Browne at Children's Book Illustration —with extensive Gallery
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Michael Rosen
Children's Laureate of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Julia Donaldson
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