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Benedict Blathwayt (b.1951)

 As a child Benedict Blathwayt was greatly influenced by the books of Edward Ardizzone, Alfred Bestall's Rupert Bear, and Herge's Tintin. After leaving school, aged seventeen, he started life working as an office boy at a firm of architects, but began painting in his own time. Throughout his life his artwork has been exhibited widely. After marrying his wife Judith, Ben moved to a farm on the Isle of Mull, where he milked cows. They subsequently moved to Wales, working for the Wildlife Conservancy Many of his books including the Bramble books, Little House by the SeaTig and TagBella Goes to Sea,  and Pip and The Puffer were inspired by Scotland; being drawn from his life and experience there. His first published book in 1984 was Bruno’s Band [Julia MacRae Books], inspired by a family camping trip to Brittany on which they encountered a South American music troupe.


Accolades include his winning The Smarties Book Award for Tangle and Fire Sticks, but Ben is best known for his wonderful best-selling Little Red Train series of books, which captured the imagination of a new generation, as well as his Bramble series, which sold over a million copies. Ben continues to write and illustrate, being currently published by the independent Scottish house Birlinn, and continues to work from his home studio in the heart of Exmoor in Somerset, inspired by the view from his studio across the farm orchard.

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