Last week this wonderful item arrived at Seven Stories Collections department - the latest acquisition for our archive.

Judy Brook's boat in the archive

This wooden boat belonged to author and illustrator, Judy Brook. Judy began illustrating in the 1950s and in the 1960s began illustrating the TV Land comic strip 'Brock and Bruin'. She went on to write and illustrate a variety of children's books, many of which feature animals. Judy is probably best known for writing and illustrating the Tim Mouse series of books. 

Unpacking the boat

The boat has been donated to the Seven Stories Collection by Judy Brook's brother, James Brook, to add to our already extensive archive of Judy Brook artwork. James told us that Judy came across the boat in a junk shop whilst looking for inspiration for her fourth Tim Mouse book - Tim Mouse goes down the stream. In this book Tim and his friend Mr Brown set out to rescue their friend Willy Frog from a gang of fierce river rats.

After finding the boat Judy scrapped her previous ideas and chose the little wooden boat as the model for the rat gang's vessel. 

Early rough artwork featuring a very different boat

In the finished illustration every porthole and handrail has been faithfully reproduced. The model boat provides a great insight into the detailed research often needed to make picturebooks.

Finished artwork from Tim Mouse goes down the stream