Tony Ross/ Horrid Henry


As a personal project I have been taking note of some of the antics my son delivers throughout his life, his childhood. I feel fascinated by his many ways, his imagination and the way he thinks not only from a child’s perspective but also from his very own unique personality, he never fails to amaze me. For some time now I have jotted down and sketched things that I have found amusing from my son and in time i hope to bring these notions to life, particularly within books. While brainstorming my idea’s I realised there was some kind of connection with this general idea to that of Horrid Henry, and so my next step is to take a closer look at Henry and his creators.

Illustrator:  Tony Ross

Tony Ross is one of the most popular and  successful of all children’s illustrators. Born in London in 1938, he never  thought he’d be an artist, but he says he ‘fell in to it’ when his dreams of  being a cowboy fell through after John Wayne failed to answer his letter of  application!  Tony trained at the  Liverpool School of Art, and worked as a graphic designer, as the Art Director  of an advertising agency, and as Senior Lecturer in Art at Manchester  Polytechnic. During this time he  drew cartoons for magazines such as Punch.

His first book was published in 1976. Tony  has illustrated more than 800 books, and as well as drawing all of the  fantastic pictures for the Horrid Henry story books, he has illustrated books  for many other authors, including Roald Dahl, Michael Palin and Paula Danziger.  He also finds time to write and illustrate his own books.!

Author:  Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon was born in St Louis,  Missouri, grew up in California, and attended both Yale and Oxford  Universities, where she specialised in Medieval Studies. How this prepared her  to write children’s books she cannot imagine, but it did give her a thorough  grounding in alliteration.

She then threw away a lucrative career as a  medievalist and worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Sunday Times,  Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Telegraph, and Vogue (US). After her son Joshua was  born in 1989, she started writing children’s books full time. One of the UK’s  bestselling children’s writers, Francesca has published over 50 books,  including the immensely popular Horrid Henry series, which has now sold over  fourteen million copies.

Francesca won the Children’s Book of the  Year Award at the British Book Awards in 2008 for HORRID HENRY AND THE  ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. The Horrid Henry books are published in 24 countries and  have been made into an animated CiTV series. She lives in London with her  husband, son, and Tibetan spaniel, Shanti.

I was browsing through Rhyl’s B&M’s store last week when I came across a Horrid Henry book for just £1.

 On this cover I love the contrasting media combining water-colour with digital. The water-colour here reminds me of work bu Quentin Blake as does the following illustration from inside this book.

 In fact, in this illustration, if I didn’t already know that it was by Tony Ross I’m sure I would mistake it for work by Quentin Blake. The features of the characters have simularites but still very unique to the illustrators.


About bonny83

I am currently studying at Glyndwr University, North Wales School of Art and Design. Design Communication is the main subject body while also looking at a large variety of the many forms of Art. My main interest is illustration and I am considering illustration for children's books for the future. Art and Design has always been a huge part of my life and i am enjoying taking things further for a possible career.

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