Anthony Browne is an internationally recognised author and illustrator of children's books, with more than forty titles to his name. In 2009 he was appointed the sixth Children's Laureate, replacing Michael Rosen and only the second illustrator to hold the post since Quentin Blake. He creates strongly narrative watercolours that blend near-photographic realism with fantastical, surreal touches and ingenious visual puns. His skilful use of colour, pattern and background detail subtly conveys an exquisite empathy for his lonely and sensitive child protagonists (both human and ape). Gorillas feature in many of Anthony's books. He says, "I am fascinated by them and the contrast they represent - their huge strength and gentleness. They're thought of as being very fierce creatures and they're not."
The illustration that I’m most fond of is 'The Emperor’s New Clothes’. It was made to celebrate the 200th year anniversary of Hans Christian Andersen and featured in a calendar illustrated by previous winners of the Hans Christian Andersen award. So the piece was shown alongside images by some of the world’s greatest illustrators. The Emperor’s New Clothes has always been one of my favourite fairytales and I very much enjoyed painting a Gorilla wearing nothing but a pair of red shoes.
You can see this stunning piece and many others by the Nations most well-loved Children's Illustrators for sale at the Children's Book Illustration Autumn Show at Waterstone's Piccadilly this October,