Clare Walters

Recent articles by Clare Walters

Pictures made of books

Issue 94, Summer 2017


Few children’s picturebooks are quite like this. A Child of Books (Walker Books, £12.99) is…

Living, breathing picturebooks

Issue 90, Summer 2015


Starting from 1910 and ending in 2014, this large-format book shows illustrations from 100 picturebooks…

Learning from Ladybird

Issue 89, Winter 2014


For any member of the generations who grew up with Ladybird Books, the mini-hardback format…

Told in pictures

Issue 85, Spring 2013


Wordless picturebooks form a corner of children’s literature in which illustrators and artists tell stories with images alone.

Gentle giant

Issue 83, Summer 2012


Tom Gauld’s Goliath tells the story of David and Goliath from the latter’s point of…

No strings attached

Issue 65, Autumn 2007


A random collection of discarded labels reveals traces of past journeys

Handy hardback memories

Issue 66, Winter 2007


Generations of children have grown up with Ladybird books. Between 1940 and 1980, 646 hardback…

Recent blog posts about Clare Walters

A new space for illustration

9 August 2021
Design history, Illustration, Visual culture

A derelict waterworks site in London’s Clerkenwell will become the Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, the world’s largest public arts space dedicated to ‘art with a job to do’. By Clare Walters
In two years’ time† London’s re-named House of Illustration (formerly based in Granary Square, King’s…

Virtual Anno

27 May 2020
Book design, Illustration, New media, Visual culture

The online exhibition ‘Anno’s Journey’ is a delightful overview of work by one of Japan’s most revered illustrators. By Clare Walters
You may have missed ‘Anno’s Journey, The World of Anno Mitsumasa’ in real time, but…

Drawing stories

23 January 2020
Book design, Design history, Graphic design, Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

This updated study of children’s picturebook illustration, by Martin Salisbury and Morag Styles, is visually rich and grounded in sound research
If you have any interest whatsoever in illustration for picturebooks, this excellent book is worthy…

Bridges and verses

17 August 2018
Book design, Design education, Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

The House of Illustration’s John Vernon Lord exhibition shows Lord’s extraordinary talent for magical narrative
You may be aware of John Vernon Lord’s work as a result of his long…

Bawden galore

17 June 2018
Book design, Design history, Graphic design, Illustration, Visual culture

This summer sees a host of opportunities to enjoy the work of Edward Bawden, with exhibitions in Dulwich, Saffron Walden and Morley College, new publications and an Eye event on Fri 13 July
Admirers of Edward Bawden (1903-1989) will have a heyday this summer, with an assortment of…

Unofficial war artist

1 May 2018
Design history, Illustration, Visual culture

During the First World War, Gertrude Leese made sketches that revealed the day-to-day realities of life on the Allied military base at Etaples, France
The name Gertrude Leese (1870-1963) may not be instantly familiar, yet in the early 1900s…

Words and the natural world

28 February 2018
Book design, Graphic design, Illustration, Typography, Visual culture

The Lost Words, an enchanting book and exhibition by Macfarlane and Morris, celebrates entries (including ‘ivy’ and ‘conker’) that were dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary
Every now and again there is a publishing phenomenon – a book that stirs the…

The visual language of Pooh

24 January 2018
Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

One of most charming and clever aspects of the Christopher Robin books (by A. A…

Games people play

27 February 2017
Design history, Graphic design, Reviews, Visual culture

From Senet to Pandemic, the Museum of Childhood’s exhibition ‘Game Plan’ covers five thousand years of fun with board games
If there’s one thing to take away from the ‘Game Plan: Board Games Rediscovered’ exhibition…

Moments captured

29 December 2016
Book design, Design history, Illustration, Reviews

Edward Ardizzone’s humanity comes to the fore in a new monograph, and a retrospective at London’s House of Illustration. Review by Clare Walters
Edward Ardizzone (1900-79) was one of the foremost and most prolific artists of mid-twentieth century…

Forging a new society

28 June 2016
Design history, Graphic design, Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

Children’s picturebooks from Soviet Russia. Clare Walters reviews A New Childhood at the House of Illustration
Anyone interested in Russian graphic design and illustration of the early twentieth century, or in…

Picture an orphan

7 February 2016
Book design, Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

What do Luke Skywalker and Oliver Twist have in common? Clare Walters reviews Drawing on Childhood at the Foundling Museum
Given the perennial struggle against war, famine, disease and poverty, it is not surprising that…

Warning cries

14 January 2016
Design history, Illustration, Posters, Reviews, Visual culture

Paul Rennie casts new light on RoSPA’s safety posters. Review of Safety First by Clare Walters
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) employed many of the best designers…

Boxes of delight

4 July 2015
Illustration, Visual culture

Joseph Cornell was an avid collector who crafted a playful universe all his own. His fragile creations are on display at the Royal Academy, London
Collecting things in boxes has been a popular pastime for many people, from fossil hunters…

Watch with mother

4 May 2015
Book design, Design history, Graphic design, Illustration, Information design, Visual culture

Ladybird’s illustrative visions of mid-century Britain, on display at the De La Warr Pavilion and in a new book
A visit to the spacious light-filled De La Warr Pavilion – one of the most…

Stepping into stories

16 January 2015
Illustration, Photography, Reviews, Technology, Visual culture

The Story Museum in Oxford celebrates the power of fiction with an exhibition that combines spoken word with photography and installation design
The Story Museum, which opened in 2014, occupies an unrefurbished building in the heart of…

Storytelling on a shoestring

14 October 2014
Book design, Design history, New media, Photography

If you have ever enjoyed making things from bits of string and wire, pipe cleaners…

Futurist at the front

22 September 2014
Design history, Illustration, Visual culture

A new exhibition shows how C. R. W. Nevinson brought an avant-garde eye to the grim truth of war
As Europe marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, a new…

When Penguins begat Puffins

12 August 2014
Book design, Design history, Illustration, Visual culture

The Penguin Collectors Society turns its attention to the influential Puffin imprint for young readers … plus Porpoises, Ptarmigans and Peacocks
On 15 October 2010, the University of Bristol held a study day on Puffin, Penguin’s…

Straight from the gentleman in Whitehall

21 May 2014
Design history, Graphic design, Illustration, Information design, Posters

Information posters told British citizens what to do about nearly everything – from posting early to eating potatoes, writes Clare Walters
From protecting national secrets to guiding work choices, from cleaning our teeth to dish-washing, public…

Beasts and alphabets

16 October 2013
Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

The work of Enid Marx links two new exhibitions about animals at Compton Verney in Warwickshire
For designers and illustrators with an interest in print-making there is much to see in…

Panoramic drama

25 July 2013
New media, Reviews, Technology, Visual culture

In Limbo, from Full Circle, is an experimental iPhone app that puts you at the centre of a real-time, 360° airport movie short
In Limbo is a short interactive film for the iPhone (4 and above), writes Clare…

A Persian paradox

1 June 2013
Illustration, Reviews, Visual culture

Peter Sís crafts a picturebook from Farid Ud-Din Attar’s twelfth-century poem
‘Love loves difficult things’ claims the hoopoe bird at the centre of this poem. And…