As we reflect on these last two years since Babette went on to complete her rollercoaster of a life, we reflect on how lucky we are that the colour, exuberance and utter joy that was Babette Cole lives on in her books.
Although she no longer puts pen to paper, the strokes of genius that she dashed across the pages of her books and her wacky and irreverent illustrations will remain with us to enjoy for generations to come.
Babette was born and raised a Channel Islander, where she spent her childhood scribbling her time away between school and horses! Her beloved pony Promise provided endless inspiration and often played a star role in her early work.
Through cheeky stories, delightfully captivating illustrations and a razor sharp wit, Babette Cole exploded into the world of children’s books in the 1970s and continued to both write and illustrate prolifically up until her death. In her last few days, Babette was propped up in her hospital bed putting the finishing touches to her final book Princess Smartypants and the Fairy Geek Mothers.
As well as illustrating her own books, she worked in collaboration with many other great children’s authors and poets including Roald Dahl, Norman Hunter, Willis Hall and Michael Rosen, creating a host of colourful characters and memories.
Dame Babette Cole (an academic Dame, not a curtesy Dame, she would point out to people!) achieved so much in her long professional career. Her private life was equally as colourful as her work with a keen love of the Caribbean, the sea, farm life, her canine friends and most especially her horses! She loved a good party with friends, dressing up in her amazing frilly dresses, taking to the dance floor and then finishing the night with a stiff whisky!
We mark this anniversary with sadness at the loss of a great friend, story teller and artist but also with a reminder – to live life to the full! A reminder to read and to write, to observe, to listen to and absorb the stories you hear and to create a life that lights up your soul!
Thank you Babette, for your sharp eye and quick wit!
We aren’t stopping the Babette Cole story any time soon, so won’t you come and join us? You will now be able to reach us online here, where you can enjoy her artwork, find her books, and even bring pieces of her world into YOUR home.