Author(s): Ronald Dahl; Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
In 1918, the RAF was established as the world's first independent air force. To mark the 100th anniversary of its creation, Penguin are publishing the Centenary Collection, a series of six classic books highlighting the skill, heroism esprit de corps that have characterised the Royal Air Force throughout its first century. 'They didn't think for one moment that they would find anything but a burnt-out fuselage and a charred skeleton; and they were apparently astounded when they came upon my still-breathing body, lying in the sand near by.' In 1938 Roald Dahl was fresh out of school and bound for his first job in Africa, hoping to find adventure far from home. However, he got far more excitement than he bargained for when the outbreak of the Second World War led him to join the RAF. His account of his experiences in Africa, crashing a plane in the Western Desert, rescue and recovery from his horrific injuries in Alexandria, and many other daring deeds, recreates a world as bizarre and unnerving as any he wrote about in his fiction. The Centenary Collection: 1. The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary 2. Tumult in the Clouds by James Goodson 3. Going Solo by Roald Dahl 4. First Light by Geoffrey Wellum 5. Tornado Down by John Peters & John Nichol 6. Immediate Response by Mark Hammond
Sitting in a hut at the bottom of his garden, surrounded by odd bits and pieces such as a suitcase (used as a footrest), his own hipbone (which he'd had replaced) and a heavy ball of metal foil (made from years' worth of chocolate wrappers), Roald Dahl wrote some of the world's best-loved stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits, The Witches, The BFG, Fantastic Mr Fox, James and the Giant Peach and lots more.
Quentin Blake is one of Britain's most successful illustrators. He has illustrated nearly three hundred books and he was Roald Dahl's favourite illustrator. He has won many awards including the Whitbread Award and the Kate Greenaway Medal and taught for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art. In 1999 he became the first ever Children's Laureate and in 2013 he was knighted in the New Year's Honours.