Picture This: Children's Illustrated Classics

This is a historic exhibition. It is no longer available to visit and this page is only retained as a record of the previous event. For current and future exhibitions, visit our What's On page.

Illustrations from 10 of the most iconic children’s books



Until 27 September 2015 (historic exhibition)


This exhibition from the British Library takes a look back at 10 of the most iconic children’s books that have been illustrated and re-illustrated throughout the 20th century.

From beautiful and rare first editions to original artwork by the likes of Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman, Peggy Fortnum and Lauren Child, the exhibition revisits much loved stories and characters that have been re-illustrated and reinterpreted for different generations of children. The exhibition reveals, through these unique and changing styles and techniques, a new way in which to appreciate some of the most familiar British children’s books.

Featuring at least four illustrated editions or pieces of artwork for each title, the exhibition focuses on 10 classics - Just So Stories, The Iron Man, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Wind in the Willows, Paddington Bear, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Hobbit, The Borrowers, The Secret Garden and The Railway Children, many of which are published by The Folio Society in beautifully illustrated cloth-bound editions.

Book online or at the Laing ticket desk on the first floor.

We'd love to hear your feedback on this exhibition. Fill in this survey for the chance to win £50. A winner will be chosen at random on 1 October 2015.


The British Library The British Library