Hilaire Belloc was born in France and educated at Newman's Oratory School and at Balliol College, Oxford. From 1906 to 1910 he was Liberal MP for Salford and literary editor of the Morning Post. As well as writing books of verse and novels, he also wrote on religious, social and political topics.
Born in 1932, Quentin Blake has been drawing ever since he can remember and has always made his living as an illustrator. He has also taught, and for ten years was Head of the Illustration department at the Royal College of Art. He was appointed first Children's Laureate and has won numerous awards including the Kate Greenaway, the Kurt Maschler and Smarties awards. He was awarded an OBE in 1988 and the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration in 2002.