Blake attended Downing College in Cambridge and the London University Institute of Education as well as the Chelsea School of Art. He was a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art in London where he also served as head of the illustration department for 10 years. Blake has illustrated the works of several prominent authors including Joan Aiken, Tana Hoban, and Margaret Mahy. He also had a long-term collaboration with Roald Dahl, which produced, among other works, THE B.F.G. and THE WITCHES. In 1980, Blake was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for his book MISTER MAGNOLIA.
Roald Dahl is the author of children's books that are both very popular and very controversial. His works are often criticized for what some see as racial stereotypes, violence, negative depictions of adults, and overall vulgarity. Many readers love them for their humor and honesty. Dahl was educated in England, and his works often reveal a distaste for his schoolboy years. He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II until his plane what hit by machine-gun fire. Severely injured, Dahl was unable to continue as a pilot. These injuries also forced Dahl to undergo a hip-replacement operation, and he kept his old thigh bone on his desk as a paperweight. Dahl wrote many short stories for adults, and his career as a children's author began after he had children of his own with his wife, the actress Patricia Neal. Several of his books, including CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, have sold over a million copies in the United States. He also wrote three autobiographies--PAT AND ROALD, about his relationship with his first wife; BOY: TALES OF CHILDHOOD; and GOING SOLO, about his adventures during World War II. Dahl and Patricia Neal divorced in 1983; they had five children. He later married Felicity Ann Crosland.