Book Beauty Monday : The Minpins

The Minpins

...Imagine if you walk into a place where...'Here and there little shafts of sunlight shone through gaps in the roof. There was not a sound anywhere. It was like being among the dead men in an enormous empty green cathedral.'...

I can't remember which one drew me to pick up this book, the beautiful cover illustration or the big name of Roald Dahl. But I remember the question that immediately popped up in my head when I saw the author's name : Where's Quentin Blake?

I think those who adore children's books may already know that Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake are like the most famous author-illustrator buddy in children's book world. I rarely see Dahl's stories with other illustrator's works so this book looks quite interesting to me:-)

I read too few of Dahl's books (three books including this one, to be precise) to call myself a fan but I think Roald Dahl's name (and Blake's illustration) always has some kind of magnetic affect on me to at least pick it up and see what the story is about.

Patrick Benson's illustration for this book, The Minpins gives readers different feelings if compared to Blake's quirkiness. They are beautifully drawn in details. His crosshatching technique reminds me of one of my most favorite illustrators, Edward Ardizzone.

The Minpins is a story of Little Billy who always wondered what there was to see outside his home, where his mother called 'the Forest of Sin'. One day, unable to resist his curiosity, He ventured into the forest. Unfortunately, he was found by a big mysterious creature who blew out red-hot fire while chasing for life of our Little Billy. Terrified, little Billy ran into the deep forest until he encountered the tiniest people he had ever seen. They called themselves, the Minpins.

Who were they and how Little Billy escaped the monster, maybe you want to find the book to find out for yourself :-) Now, I will let Benson's lovely illustration tell some of the story to you.

The Minpins

...What he now saw was quite marvellous. He saw a room that was lit by a pale yellow light of some sort and it was furnished with beautifully made miniature chairs and a table...

The Minpins

..."Look, I've had a lovely time with you all, but how am I ever going to get home again? My mother'll be going crazy"... (I love this page. Great composition, isn't it? ;-)

The Minpins

..."The birds are our cars,...They are much nicer and they never crash."...

The Minpins

...Little Billy heard him talking to the robin in a kind of curious twitter....

The Minpins

Big scene of the brave Little billy. Gorgeous colors!

I'm in love with this book and I hope you do too. I also found web sites about children's book illustration that might interest you here :

Fans of Roald Dahl may already know this. I love the site, well-designed and full of fun things. Roald Dahl

I remember watching a clip of Quentin Blake's talking about his work from his own site. Not sure if it's still there.

Patrick Benson's interview about this book
Magic Pencil
I have no time to explore this site yet but it looks interesting for those who love children's book illustration.

OK, this is a long post and I wrote it in a hurry, hope I didn't make any mistake :-(

PS I read all comments on the previous post and enjoyed your imagination very much. Thank you so much and I will visit all of your blogs soon :-)

Merry Monday everyone!


  1. Great post! We are big fans of Roald Dahl in our house ;-)

    visiting from Creative Every Day

  2. What wonderful illustrations! Thanks for sharing. :-) I was not even aware of that artist. I'll have to check him out. (I love any excuse to hit the children's section at the bookstore.) Wonderful blog, BTW.

  3. I absolutely love this book - fond memories of reading it to the kids a while back!


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