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…

Living, breathing picturebooks

Issue 90, Summer 2015


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

Learning from Ladybird

Issue 89, Winter 2014


For any member of the generations who grew up with Ladybird Books, the…

Told in pictures

Issue 85, Spring 2013


Wordless picturebooks form a corner of children’s literature in which illustrators and artists…

Gentle giant

Issue 83, Summer 2012


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

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…

Recent blog posts by Clare Walters

A new space for illustration

9 August 2021

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 Cross) will be moving into the new Quentin Blake Centre for Illustration, writes Clare Walters.

Virtual Anno

27 May 2020

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 you can now see this excellent exhibition online – and it is well worth a visit, writes Clare Walters.

Drawing stories

23 January 2020

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 of a place on your shelves, writes Clare Walters.

Bridges and verses

17 August 2018

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 career as a freelance illustrator (which began in 1961) or through his lectures at Brighton College of Art, where he has taught illustration for nearly half a century, writes Clare Walters.

Bawden galore

17 June 2018

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 new exhibitions, catalogues and books to enjoy, writes Clare Walters.

Unofficial war artist

1 May 2018

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 she was a successful and prominent British illustrator and watercolour painter, writes Clare Walters.

Words and the natural world

28 February 2018

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 soul and captures the public imagination. The Lost Words: A Spell Book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is one such phenomenon, writes Clare Walters.

The visual language of Pooh

24 January 2018

One of most charming and clever aspects of the Christopher Robin books (by A. A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepard) is that they can be read on a number of levels, making them equally enjoyable for both children and adults, writes Clare Walters.

Games people play

27 February 2017

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 is that playing board games is a serious business, writes Clare Walters.

Moments captured

29 December 2016

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 Britain, writes Clare Walters. His contemporaries included Edward Bawden, Pearl Binder, Eric Ravilious and John Piper – the latter two of whom were, like Ardizzone, official war artists during the Second World War.

Forging a new society

28 June 2016

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 the history of children’s picturebooks, will find the current exhibition at the House of Illustration fascinating, writes Clare Walters.

Picture an orphan

7 February 2016

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 many myths and fairy tales feature orphans, foundlings and fostered or abandoned children – think of Romulus and Remus, Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Hansel and Gretel, writes Clare Walters.

Warning cries

14 January 2016

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 of the twentieth century to make its safety posters.

Boxes of delight

4 July 2015

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 and natural history enthusiasts to A. A. Milne’s fictional Christopher Robin, who famously kept Alexander Beetle in a match-box, writes Clare Walters.

Watch with mother

4 May 2015

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 iconic Modernist buildings in Britain – is always a pleasure, even on a cold rainy wind-swept day, writes Clare Walters.

Stepping into stories

16 January 2015

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 Oxford and ‘26 Characters’ is its inaugural exhibition, writes Clare Walters.

Storytelling on a shoestring

14 October 2014

If you have ever enjoyed making things from bits of string and wire, pipe cleaners and fabric, cotton reels and ping-pong balls, this book will surely appeal, writes Clare Walters.

Futurist at the front

22 September 2014

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 exhibition of C. R. W. Nevinson’s prints is a bleak reminder of those dark days, writes Clare Walters.

When Penguins begat Puffins

12 August 2014

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 celebrated children’s imprint, writes Clare Walters.

Straight from the gentleman in Whitehall

21 May 2014

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 information posters have advised the British public what to do for generations, writes Clare Walters.

Beasts and alphabets

16 October 2013

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 two inter-related exhibitions at the beautiful (if rather remote) Compton Verney gallery in Warwickshire, writes Clare Walters.

Panoramic drama

25 July 2013

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 Walters. To watch it, you use your phone like a camera, observing human behaviour in ‘Terminal 8’, a fictional airport departure lounge.

A Persian paradox

1 June 2013

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 this picturebook could certainly be described as ‘difficult’, for it is mysterious and enigmatic, intriguing and spiritual, writes Clare Walters.