Britain’s favourite children’s book illustrations on auction for RSPCA

If you like feeling nostalgic over some of your favourite childhood tales, then you’ll probably get excited about these illustrations on auction – all for a good cause. 

The RSPCA has created an impressive collection of original illustrations free of charge by a range of Britain’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators such as Helen Oxenbury (We're Going on a Bear Hunt), Quentin Blake for Roald Dahl’s books, Anthony Browne (Gorilla, Frida and Bear) and Lauren Child (Charlie and Lola). 

Anthony Browne
Helen Oxenbury

The collection will go on auction next month to raise money for the charity’s crusade to tackle illegal puppy trading.

The event, held in London’s Hampstead on October 11, will also feature work by international celebrities for the Scrap the Puppy Trade campaign. Check out Ricky Gervais' pen and ink illustration, titled 'Friends'. 

Other work included in the auction features beloved children's characters such as Polly Dunbar's penguin, Judith Kerr's Mog and Jan Pienjowski's Meg.

The RSPCA says the annual UK market for puppies lies between 700,000 and 1.9 million. Within this, puppies are bred by licensed and unlicensed breeders and tens of thousands are imported from EU countries. Welfare problems at the early stage of trade can cause poor health, susceptibility to fear and avoidance-related behaviour in the puppies. This can have rollover affects for new owners who have to contend with the cost and care for veterinary and behavioural issues of the puppies.

Quentin Blake
Lauren Child

The RSPCA recommends amendments to legislation to ensure welfare needs are met and protected, as well as introducing spot checks, a helpline to report illegal puppy trading and ensuring vet and dog wardens routinely scan dogs when they are presented to them.

The auction has been organised with support from illustrator Helen Oxenbury. Jeffrey Archer will be auctioneer on the night and will be joined by other celebrities. 

An online auction opens tomorrow and runs until October 18. To bid on items from the full collection, visit the gallery here.

Judith Kerr

Jan Pienjowski

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