Wikipedia Encyclopedia

Carol Barker

Carol Barker

Carol Mintum Barker (born 16 February 1938)[1] is an English artist-designer, author and illustrator who is notable for her poster designs, postage stamps and book illustrations, many of them for children.

Carol Barker
Born(1938-02-16)16 February 1938
Alma mater
Known forWriting, drawing, children's literature
Notable work
The Bald Twit Lion
Achilles the Donkey
  • John Rowland Barker (father)

Life and career

Barker is the daughter of British artist John Rowland Barker.[2] As a child she was evacuated to New York during World War II, but returned to Britain and attended Bournemouth College of Art whilst also studying privately at her father's studio. She went on to study painting at Chelsea Polytechnic and illustration at the Central School of Arts and Crafts under the tutelage of Laurence Scarfe, Merlyn Evans and Raymond Roberts.[3]

Barker became a freelance illustrator in 1958. She was married and had two sons.[1]

Her entry in the Dictionary of British Book Illustrators states "Her work, in pen and ink, watercolour, collage and wax, is decorative rather than spatial in character."[4]

As a book illustrator, Barker collaborated with many authors including John Cunliffe, Spike Milligan and H. E. Bates who wrote the prose for his children's book Achilles the Donkey around her pictures.[5] So integral were her illustrations that in some instances she was given equal billing as a co-author on the book jackets. This can be seen on the covers of Spike Milligan's A Bald Twit Lion[6][7] and H. E. Bates Achilles the Donkey series[8][9][10] amongst others. She would go on to be nominated twice for the Kate Greenaway medal.

As a graphic artist, Barker is known to have designed posters and artwork for London Transport[2] and posters and stamps for the Post Office. Her poster "Children's London" was praised by Modern Publicity magazine in 1974 as one of the best British posters of the previous year.[2] Examples of her work can be found in the collections of the British Council,[11] London Transport Museum,[12] The Postal Museum[13] and The Science Museum.[14]

Selected awards

Year Work Award Result Ref.
1962 Achilles the Donkey by H. E. Bates (Dennis Dobson) Kate Greenaway Medal Runner-up / commended [15]
1972 King Midas and the Golden Touch by Carol Barker (Franklin Watts) Kate Greenaway Medal Commended [15][16]
Unknown Unknown The Scotsman 'International Book Jacket Competition' Won [17]

Selected exhibitions

  • 1988: (November) Barker's work was exhibited at the Barbican Centre in London. It featured illustrations, drawings and photographs of her visit to a refugee camp in Peshawar, Pakistan and to the drought-prone Indian state of Rajasthan whilst carrying out research for her books, A Question of Refugees and A Question of Hunger.[18][19]
  • 2017–2019: Barker's work for London Transport was selected as part of London Transport Museum's Poster Girls exhibition commemorating female graphic designers[20] and was featured in an accompanying BBC news article.[21]



Year Title Publisher Notes
1968 The Boy and the Lion Dennis Dobson Published in the US as The Boy and the Lion on the Wall by Franklin Watts
1972 King Midas and the Golden Touch Franklin Watts Nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal (1972)


Year Title Publisher Notes
1971 Birds and Beasts Franklin Watts Reviewed in Los Angeles Times
1973 The Alphabet Hamlyn
1974 How the World Began Abelard-Schuman
1976 An Oba of Benin Macdonald & Jane's Translated into German, Norwegian, Welsh
1976 A Prince of Islam Macdonald & Jane's Translated into German, Norwegian, Welsh

Reviewed in Teaching History[22]

1979 Arjun in His Village in India Oxford University Press Translated into German, Swedish. Reviews
1982 Kayode in His Village in Nigeria Oxford University Press
1984 Village in Nigeria A&C Black Translated into Dutch
1985 Ananda in Sri Lanka. A story of Buddhism Hamish Hamilton
1986 The United Nations. Its work in the World Macdonald
1988 A Question of Refugees Macdonald
1988 A Question of Feeding the World Macdonald
1998 The Tibetans. Life in exile Mantra in association with The Tibet Foundation

Illustration / graphic design

Year Author Work / Title Publisher Notes
1959 Time and Tune BBC School Radio Autumn Term Booklet
1960 Postal Addresses The Post Office (GPO) Poster. PRD 1077
1960 London Post Offices and Streets The Post Office (GPO) Poster. PRD 1072
1960 Post Offices in the United Kingdom The Post Office (GPO) Poster. PRD 1076
1960 Sylvia Townsend Warner The Cat's Cradle-Book Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1960 Maureen Howard Not a Word about Nightingales Secker & Warburg Dustjacket
1961 Curtis Harnack The Work of an Ancient Hand Weidenfeld & Nicolson Dustjacket
1961 Fred Kitchen The Ploughman Homeward Plods Country Book Club Dustjacket
1961 Paul Gallico Too Many Ghosts Michael Joseph Dustjacket
1961 Time and Tune BBC School Radio Spring Term Booklet
1961 Jane Brown Gemmill The Little Bear and the Princess Abelard-Schuman
1962 Aileen Fisher I wonder how, I wonder why Abelard-Schuman
1962 Frances Armytage Georgian England Ginn 6 volumes: [1] Life in a country house. [2] Life in a manufacturing town. [3] Roads and waterways. [4] Sailors and ships. [5] Life in a village. [6] A trip to a watering place.
1962 Famous Stories of High Adventure Arthur Barker Selected and edited by Leonard Reginald Gribble
1962 Swift Annual Odhams Press
1962 H. E. Bates Achilles the Donkey Dennis Dobson Nominated for the Kate Greenaway medal (1962)
1962 Norman Wymer Gilbert and Sullivan Methuen
1962 Roger Lancelyn Green Ancient Greece Rupert Hart Davis
1962 Lyn Irvine Field with Geese Country Book Club Dustjacket
1962 Mildred Lewis The Honourable Sword Deutsch Dustjacket
1962 Sylvia Townsend Warner A Spirit Rises Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1963 Mariana Villa-Gilbert Mrs Galbraith’s Air Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1963 Daniel Roberts Nibbleneat Oxford University Press
1963 H. E. Bates Achilles and Diana Dennis Dobson
1963 Eileen Colwell A Storyteller's Choice. A selection of stories with notes on how to tell them Bodley Head
1963 Julia Rhys The Tinsel November Rupert Hart-Davis
1964 H. E. Bates Achilles and the Twins Dennis Dobson
1964 John Cunliffe Farmer Barnes Buys a Pig Deutsch
1964 Andre Launay Caviare and After. The Truth About Luxury Food Macdonald
1964 Yvonne Meynier The School with a Difference Abelard-Schuman
1964 Norman Goodland Old Stan's Diary: Autumn & Winter on the Farm Country Book Club Dustjacket
1964 Miss Read Country Bunch Country Book Club Dustjacket
1964 Leo Walmsley Paradise Creek Country Book Club Dustjacket
1964 Annabel Dilke Rule III, Pretend to be Nice Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1965 Mabel Watts The Light Across Piney Valley Abelard-Schuman
1965 Noel Lloyd & Geoffrey Palmer Quest for Prehistory Dennis Dobson
1965 Lauchmonen Old Thom's Harvest Eyre & Spottiswoode Dustjacket
1965 Jocelyn Davey A Killing in Hats Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1966 Perdita Buchan Girl with a Zebra Chatto & Windus Dustjacket
1966 Georgina Groves Morning Glory Whiting & Wheaton
1966 John Cunliffe Farmer Barnes and Bluebell Deutsch
1966 Rain and Shine. Nursery Rhymes for the Four Seasons Blackie
1966 Fenton House London Transport Poster. Printed by The Baynard Press
1967 Rumer Godden The Kitchen Madonna Macmillan
1967 Andre Launay Posh Food Penguin
1968 Janet McNeill It's Snowing Outside Macmillan
1968 Richard Parker Lost in a Shop Macmillan
1968 Spike Milligan The Bald Twit Lion Dennis Dobson
1969 London Museum London Transport Poster. Printed by John Swain and Son Ltd
1969 Amanda McKittrick Ros Helen Huddleson Chatto & Windus
1969 Margaret Mahy Pillycock's Shop Dennis Dobson
1970 P. M. Pickard The Dancing Harp Ginn
1971 Margaret Mahy The Princess and the Clown Dennis Dobson
1971 Troubadour (No. 1) Malcolm Peltu and Adel Hamadi Magazine cover in conjunction with Adel Hamadi
1972 Helen Hoke Dragons, Dragons, Dragons Franklin Watts
1972 Sandie Oram The Sun People Macdonald & Co
1973 Nicholas Fisk Emma Borrows a Cup of Sugar Heinemann
1973 Children’s London London Transport Poster. Printed by The Baynard Press. Praised by Modern Publicity in 1974 as one of the best British posters of the previous year.[2]
1974 Margaret Mayo If You Should Meet a Crocodile, and Other Verse Kaye & Ward
1975 Helen Hoke Devils, Devils, Devils Franklin Watts
1979 Audrey Aarons & Hugh Hawes Child-to-Child Macmillan Press Published on behalf of the Child to Child programme
1979 London’s Museums London Transport Poster. Printed by Impress Ltd
1982 Spike Milligan Sir Nobonk and the Terrible, Awful, Dreadful, Naughty, Nasty Dragon M. J. Hobbs
1983 Miriam Hodgson A Touch of Gold. Stories from the Greek Myths Methuen
1986 John Snelling Buddhist Stories Wayland
1987 John Snelling The Life of the Buddha Wayland
1992 Umaya Aafjes-Sinnadurai The Kingdom of Benin: National Curriculum History Key Stage 2 Commonwealth Institute Published by Curriculum Development and Resources Section


  1. Commire, Anne (1983). Something about the author. Gale. pp. 26–7.
  2. "London Transport Museum". London Transport Museum. Retrieved 21 October 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Ryder, John (1960). Artists of a certain line : a selection of illustrators for children's books. Internet Archive. London : Bodley Head.
  4. Peppin, Brigid; Micklethwait, Lucy (1983). Dictionary of British Book Illustrators. John Murray (publishing house). ISBN 0719539854.
  5. "Achilles the Donkey :: HE Bates". Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  6. "The Bald Twit Lion - AbeBooks". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  7. "BBC Programme Index". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  8. "Achilles the Donkey - AbeBooks". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  9. "Achilles and Diana by Bates, H. E.: Very Good Hardcover (1963) First Edition. | Turn-The-Page Books". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  10. "Achilles and the Twins by H. E. Bates: Near Fine Hardback (1964) First edition. | Rooke Books PBFA". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  11. "Carol Barker | Artists | Collection | British Council − Visual Arts". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  12. "Collections - Search". London Transport Museum. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  13. "Carol Barker, b.1938". The Postal Museum. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  14. "Carol Mintum Barker | Science Museum Group Collection". Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  15. "Kate Greenaway Medal". ibrowsebooks. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  16. Hal May (1983). Contemporary authors. Internet Archive. ISBN 978-0-8103-1907-3.
  17. Carol Barker. A Prince of Islam.
  18. "On Show". The British Journal of Photography. London: 1854 Media. 135 (6691): 24. 3 November 1988. ISSN 0007-1196. Retrieved 30 March 2022 via Proquest.
  19. "Bookings: Last Chance". The Times. No. 63234. 9 November 1988. p. 22. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  20. Budds, Diana (30 October 2017). "The Women Designers Behind London Tube's Kickass Graphic Design". Fast Company. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  21. "More posters from London Underground's forgotten designers". BBC News. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  22. Townson, Duncan (1977). "Review of A Prince of Islam, by C. Barker". Teaching History. 17: 31 via JSTOR.
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