Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Llandaff, South Wales,
and went to Repton School in England. His parents were Norwegian,
so holidays were spent in Norway. As he explains in Boy, he
turned down the idea of university in favor of a job that would
take him to "a wonderful faraway place." In 1933 he joined the
Shell Company, which sent him to Mombasa in East Africa. When World
War II began in 1939, he became a fighter pilot and in 1942 was
made assistant air attache in Washington, where he started to write
short stories. His first major success as a writer for children was
in 1964. Thereafter his children's books brought him increasing
popularity, and when he died, children mourned the world over,
particularly in Britain where he had lived for many years.
Quentin Blake's first book, Patrick, was published in 1968 and was followed by classics such as Mister Magnolia, All Join In, and Clown. He is best known for illustrating Roald Dahl's books. A patron of the Association of Illustrators, he was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1980 and the international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2002, and was the inaugural British Children's Laureate from 1999 to 2001.