Leonard Leslie Brooke: children’s book illustrator

Explore – well known stories or fairy tales

Discuss – what makes a good children’s story

Discover – how illustrations in a story help to develop ideas and feelings


Personal history

The Lion and the Unicorn ©Project Gutenberg (Public domain)

Subject areas

Possible topics

Suggested activities

Interesting fact

Literary and artistic links


Further resources

Subject Areas

• English – Exploring the meaning of texts; finding information about character, setting and narrative themes

• Art & Design – The role of illustrations in developing ideas and feelings/ enhancing stories

Possible Topics

• What do you need to make a good children’s story?

• The work of famous illustrators of children’s literature – Leonard Brooke, Beatrix Potter, Mary Shepard, Quentin Blake

• Exploring the history of children’s fairy tales

Suggested Activities

• Writing your own fairy tale – maybe combining the famous characters from different fairy tales

• Illustrating an existing fairy tale or one you have made up

• Creating a short quiz for your classmates to see how much they know about famous fairy tales

Interesting Fact

When Leslie Brooke was in London, a publisher sent him a set of drawings by a then unknown artist and asked for his opinion. After taking a look he gave them back with his immediate approval and told the publisher to go ahead for they would be an undoubted success. The illustrations were for (what became) a very well-known and beloved set of children’s tales – The Tales of Peter Rabbit – and the artist was none other than Beatrix Potter.

Literary & Artistic Links

1892 – Leslie Brooke met J.M.Barrie and began painting portraits, exhibited in RA 1896

1900 – Leslie Brooke illustrated Edward Lear’s Nonsense Songs


Three little pigs,Project Gutenberg (source see below)

Papers relating to an exhibition at the Hampstead Museum, Burgh House in 1984

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Further Resources

The Horn Book (the Journal of American Children’s libraries), devoted its Spring 1941 issue to tributes to L. Leslie Brooke

Some of Leslie’s drawings are available free on http://www.oldpicturebooks.com/l_leslie_brooke/  and some on http://www.fairyworx.net/Fairyworx_Home_Page.html

Three of his most popular stories –The Golden Goose, The Three Bears, The Three Little Pigs, and Tom Thumb – are available at Project Gutenberg, at – http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15661/15661-h/15661-h.htm

See a video of The Three Little Pigs at http://www.ovguide.com/l.-leslie-brooke-9202a8c04000641f8000000000d6ceee

Also see the worksheet in this series on Mary Shepard


This page was last updated on May 19th, 2012.


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