Jill Bennett

Jill Bennett

Jill Bennett was the very first illustrator to work on Roald Dahl's British publications of "Fantastic Mr Fox" and"Danny The Champion of the World" in the 1970's. Her original artwork and correspondence from Fantastic Mr Fox is currently available as a complete archive. Please ask for details. There are a number of limited edition prints of our favourite illustration from both books.

For those interested in the Danny The Champion of the World archive, read The Independent newspaper online dated 20th Sept 2015.

Jill Bennett was born in Johannesburg 1934. Left South Africa as a baby and spent the years from age 4 to 11 in Jamaica.  Came to England after the end of the Second World War and finished schooling at Claremont School, Esher, Surrey.

Studied at Wimbledon school of Art for four years and specialised in Theatre Design. Was awarded the National Diploma of Design (NDD) and went on to a post graduate year at the Slade School of Fine Art.

Jill combined her two great loves by taking up book illustration at the same time as running a theatre evening class for the ILEA. She formed The Theatre Arts Group and was responsible for the performances, settings and costumes and showed the plays at The Curtain Theatre, Whitechapel, London E1.


In the early 70s Kaye Webb, the founder of Puffin Books, commissioned Jill to do the pictures and cover for Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox and later his Danny Champion of the World.  This began a lengthy career with many books and many excellent writers.  Dick King-Smith, Joan Aitkin and Helen Cresswell were among them.

In the 1980’s Jill combined writing with the making of miniature dolls (which are recognised worldwide) and set up a partnership with the sculptor, Sukey Erland. Jill also took to writing and has three ‘Who dunnits’ for young teenagers plus some short stories to her name.

Seven Stories, Britain’s gallery and archive that celebrates the world of children’s books, exhibited some of Jill’s pictures in their opening exhibition in 2005 and again in the There’s Nuffin Like a Puffin! Exhibition during the summer of 2011.

Jill lives in Bath with her husband Rodney and has two grown up children and four grandchildren.

Books

Highlight and click on a book cover below to view the illustrations from that book
Round the Christmas Tree
Once Upon a Rhyme
Imagine That!
The Faber Book of Christmas Stories
Figgie Hobbin
Stand Up, Mr Dickens
Fantastic Mr Fox
Puffin Post

Illustrations

Click on the illustrations below to see them enlarged, together with details of price, size etc.
  • ‘You may kiss me if you like.’

    ‘You may kiss me if you like.’

  • ‘Dickens went on with his readings...’

    ‘Dickens went on with his readings...’

  • ‘The strangest lady I have ever seen...’

    ‘The strangest lady I have ever seen...’

  • ‘Good Mrs Brown whipped out a large pair of scissors...’

    ‘Good Mrs Brown whipped out a large pair of scissors...’

  • ‘I want that pretty frock, Miss Dombey.’

    ‘I want that pretty frock, Miss Dombey.’

  • ‘Polly...she started to the rescue of her unhappy little son.’

    ‘Polly...she started to the rescue of her unhappy little son.’

  • ‘Marley...the chain he drew was clasped about his middle.’

    ‘Marley...the chain he drew was clasped about his middle.’

  • ‘Ebenezer checking the sitting-room.’

    ‘Ebenezer checking the sitting-room.’

  • ‘Ebenezer Scrooge at his desk’

    ‘Ebenezer Scrooge at his desk’

  • ‘Oliver taken to the magistrate’

    ‘Oliver taken to the magistrate’

  • ‘a bill was pasted on the outside...’

    ‘a bill was pasted on the outside...’

  • ‘It fell to Oliver Twist’

    ‘It fell to Oliver Twist’

  • ‘Oliver picking oakum’

    ‘Oliver picking oakum’

  • ‘It was at this moment that a face, head, and shoulders emerged...’

    ‘It was at this moment that a face, head, and shoulders emerged...’

  • ‘Oh, do skate, Mr Winkle, said Arabella’

    ‘Oh, do skate, Mr Winkle, said Arabella’

  • ‘The Pickwick Papers’

    ‘The Pickwick Papers’

  • ‘There was Mr Pickwick's landady, Mrs Bardell...’

    ‘There was Mr Pickwick's landady, Mrs Bardell...’

  • ‘Dickens in 1836’

    ‘Dickens in 1836’

  • ‘Dickens on stage reading’

    ‘Dickens on stage reading’

  • ‘Stand Up, Mr Dickens.’

    ‘Stand Up, Mr Dickens.’

  • ‘Heat the bath!’

    ‘Heat the bath!’

  • ‘An ugly old man...seized me by the hair of my head.’

    ‘An ugly old man...seized me by the hair of my head.’

  • ‘Janet looked a little surprised to see me lying stiffly on the sofa...’

    ‘Janet looked a little surprised to see me lying stiffly on the sofa...’

  • ‘And sat flat down on the garden path.’

    ‘And sat flat down on the garden path.’

  • ‘..he takes on foot to the Dover Road.’

    ‘..he takes on foot to the Dover Road.’

  • ‘David...washing and labelling and corking bottles...’

    ‘David...washing and labelling and corking bottles...’

  • ‘Stand Up, Mr Dickens - book cover’

    ‘Stand Up, Mr Dickens - book cover’