JENNINGS – The Illustrations

The early books had dust wrappers illustrated by S. van Abbe, followed in the late 1950s until 1970 by Douglas Mays.

Then in 1971, the famous illustrator Balint Stephen Biro took over.

Val Biro

Many of the Jennings books were illustrated by Hungarian born artist Balint Stephen Biro, better known as Val Biro.

In addition to the Jennings books, Val illustrated over 400 books for other authors, designed over 3,000 book covers plus found time to write and of course illustrate books of his own, the Gumdrop series.  For 21 years, Val also provided illustrations for the Radio Times.

We were sad to hear that on Friday 4th July 2014, after suffering a bad stroke 12 days previously, Val passed away.  He was mostly unaware and didn’t suffer. He was working right up to the day before. His death was widely reported including an obituary in The Chichester Observer.

Val was a great fan of the Jennings series and joined us at our annual meetings. He had a passion for his work and would often quietly sit at the back of the room sketching caricatures of his fellow Jennings enthusiasts as they spoke.