Some of our favorite book illustrations have become just as near and dear to our hearts as the stories themselves. What would Winnie-the-Pooh be in our minds without those beautiful drawings of the pleasantly rotund, honey-colored bear? The best illustrator and author collaborations make the text inseparable from the images, to the point where we cannot picture the stories without the pictures, or vice versa. To honor the magical relationship that takes place when the right writer and artist meet, we have rounded up some of our favorite author and illustrator duos of all time after the jump.
Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, The BFG, The Twits, etc.
Who can forget the creepy drawings that graced the cover of The Witches or those charming portraits of The BFG? Humorous, whimsical and just a bit kooky and gross, Blake’s work is the pictorial soul mate of Dahl’s stories. The duo began working together in 1978, when Blake illustrated The Enormous Crocodile, and their collaboration lasted through the publication of Matilda in 1988. Occasionally, Dahl would change something in the text in light of an illustration. Little-known fact: initially the BFG was wearing knee-length boots, but Dahl switched them to sandals after seeing how dull the boots looked in the illustration. “He appreciated that I wanted him to have what he wanted,” Blake said of Dahl. “Sometimes artists take books and run away with them and want them to be something else, but I never did that.”