It came as quite a shock to me to discover that it has been 25 years since Penny Dale’s much-loved picture book, Ten in the Bed, was published by Walker Books. I was surprised because it still looks as fresh today as it did when it was released, way back in 1988. Now it would be a big fib to say that I remembered it as a child, but I did read it to my own kids (again and again and again…) and it is one of those books that you somehow never get bored of reading. It’s this, more than anything else, that is the mark of a true classic. Like all of Penny’s books, it is a wonderful blend of her careful observational drawings and her flights of fancy, resulting in a book that we can both identify with and be transported by.
Anyway, to celebrate the book’s 25th anniversary and the fact that it has sold nearly 2 million copies, the Illustration Cupboard Gallery in London’s Piccadilly recently hosted an exhibition of artwork from the book, which includes the original artwork used in the book and some of the working drawings. It was a great tribute to a fantastic title. We are, of course, delighted and proud to be publishing Penny’s Dinosaur books and, fingers crossed, they too will be going strong in 25 years’ time!
A 25th anniversary edition of Ten in the Bed is available in bookshops now, and you can order it online from Waterstones here. And here’s an early look inside Penny’s upcoming picture book, Dinosaur Rescue, out next year: