John T Kenney

Born 1911
Died 1972

Studied at Leicester College of Art.
Commercial artist and illustrator, illustrating the historical series of the Ladybird books, and some of Eric Leyland's Hunter Hawk series.

He illustrated the little wildlife book Small Creatures (Edmund Ward 1959) when it was reissued with text by Malcolm Saville.

Unfortunately I no longer have my copy, so I can't give an example !

He both wrote and illustrated two of the Truth in a Tale series for Ward. These are number 9: 'The Grey Pony' (1954) and number 11 'The Shetland Pony' (1955).
He also illustrated six of the famous Thomas the Tank Engine books by Rev W. Awdry from 1957 until 1962.

Opposite is an illustration from the last one he illustrated.

These books were very demanding in time and detail, especially as the railway detail had to be correct. In the book The Thomas the Tank Engine Man by Brian Sibley (Heinemann 1995), the author says that it was these demands which, combined with eyesight problems led him into giving up the series.

Kenney illustration. Click to enlarge (File size=46KB)
Peter Sam loses a funnel
by John Kenney
from Gallant Old Engine Edmund Ward 1962

He later became a distinguished painter specialising in animals and sporting scenes.


Much of the above information is derived from Brian Sibley's book, with additions from Horne (see Abbrev.)


This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created August 2002
last updated Aug 2002