(1905 - 1990)
Adults are always so busy with the dull and dusty affairs of life which have nothing to do with grass, trees, and running streams.

Countryman, author and artist Denys Watkins-Pitchford is probably best known by his pen name “BB,” a name derived from the size of lead shot he used to shoot geese. His work has many followers, some who were enchanted by his children’s stories when they were in the nursery, others who revel in his descriptions of country pursuits, especially carp fishing and shooting, and a third group captivated by his illustrations.

Born on 25th July 1905, Watkins-Pitchford was a sickly child who was educated at home and thus had plenty of free time to roam around the countryside with his fishing rod, shotgun and drawing pad. His combined loves of art and nature are at the root of his success as an artist and author.

His first book “The Sportsman’s Bedside Book” was published in 1937 and was quickly followed up with nature based tales, such as “Wild Lone, the story of a Pytchley Fox” (1938) and “The Countryman’s Bedside Book” (1941).

The author’s most famous book, however, is “The Little Grey Men” which recounts the adventures of Dodder, Baldmoney, Sneezewort and Cloudberry, the last four gnomes in England.  From the age of four BB was convinced of the existence of "little people", having encountered a gnome in his nursery, this meeting allowed him to bring his gnomes to life so vividly. The story was to win the Carnegie Medal for Children’s Literature in 1942.

Another great children’s writer and artist, Beatrix Potter, once wrote, “all writers for children ought to have sufficient recognition of what things look like – did [Kenneth Grahame} not describe Toad as combing his hair? A mistake to fly in the face of nature.” Miss Potter would presumably have admired the work of BB, whose love of nature led him to produce anatomically correct drawings of animals, while his landscapes, rivers and rippling pools manage to capture the magic of the natural world, reminding us of their simple beauties.

BB’s children’s books are illustrated with delicate watercolours, but his most striking images are his black and white drawings and his wonderfully atmospheric scraperboard illustrations, used to great effect in books such as “Vix - The Story of a Fox Cub” (1960) and “The Birds of the Lonely Lake” (1961).

Both his children's writings, which appear under the pen-name “BB” and his nature books and illustrations, attributed to his real name, Denys Watkins-Pitchford, are highly collectable and his work is kept very much alive by an active and vibrant BB Society

Scroll down to view first editions and original BB artwork

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Books by this author

The Tyger Tray



Signed Original Drawing: The Birds of the Lonely Lake



Signed Original Drawing: The Birds of the Lonely Lake