A cheerful world, full of color and motion; a world where you can daydream remembering your childhood. This is what Quentin Blake has done for years bringing visually to life Roald Dahl‘s children books. All us grown-up that read these novels could clearly remember his imaginative depictions of the characters, his unique cartoonish style. Pen-nib and watercolour with whom Blake used to paint on the black-and-white pen drawing, creating heraldic creatures that perfectly fit the fable.

It was very interesting as a task to do, because it’s a kind of caricature, and that’s where Roald and I met very much. In a sense, what he wrote was like what I drew in the degree of exaggeration and comedy in it. But it was a bit fiercer. And the character of the crocodile was interesting to me, because he’s a sort of embodiment of evil. […]

And of course the thing about it is that if you look at what I’ve drawn, I mean I started off drawing crocodiles, but it’s not a real crocodile. In Roald’s words it says he had hundreds of teeth: crocodiles don’t have hundreds of teeth, they have teeth here and there in a rather random sort of way. But mine has. And because it’s not a real crocodile, but it’s got a sort of evil look in its eyes, it becomes something a bit different… in a way, it becomes this sort of cartoon character. So it has its own life.

– Quentin Blake on working on The Enormous Crocodile (1979), Dahl’s first picture-book.


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