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Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979) was one of England’s most distinguished and best-loved artist-illustrators. He was brought up in East Bergholt, Suffolk and went to school in Ipswich. As a young boy he was fascinated by the vibrancy of the small Suffolk ports such as Ipswich, then frequented by the coastal steamers that travelled from port to port transporting heavy freight, rather as large lorries do nowadays. These childhood observations were the foundation of his Little Tim books, first published in 1936.
Often considered the father of the modern children’s picture book, between 1929 and his death in 1979 Ardizzone wrote some 20 books which he illustrated himself, including the well loved Little Tim series, Johnny the Clockmaker, Diana and her Rhinoceros, Paul the Hero of the Fire; and with his cousin Christianna Brand, created Nurse Matilda, later familiar to many as Nanny McPhee. He was a prolific artist and illustrated in over 200 books, for children and adults, as well as extensive work for such publications as The Listener, the Radio Times, The Strand and others.