WORLD-RENOWNED children’s book author and illustrator Brian Wildsmith will be celebrated in his hometown with two exhibits.

‘Paws, Claws, Tales and Roars: The Art of Brian Wildsmith’ at the Cooper Gallery and ‘Coming Home: The Life of Brian Wildsmith’ at Experience Barnsley Museum will run from April 20 to September 21.

The shows intend to celebrate and explore the Barnsley-born artist’s creative journey, highlighting his wildly imaginative use of colour.

Both exhibitions have been developed with love and passion for Brian’s work and in collaboration with his family.

Born in 1930, Brian studied at Barnsley School of Art before receiving a scholarship to London’s Slade School of Art.

He made his name in 1962 when Oxford University Press published his ABC, a richly-coloured alphabet, brimming with patterns, textures and paint.

Coun Robin Franklin, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, said: “Barnsley has always been a place to develop artistic and creative skills, and we are delighted to be the birthplace of such an iconic and well-loved author and illustrator.

“The exhibitions will be great for families to spend time during their visits to the town centre and a wonderful way for children to connect with Brian’s books and artwork, hopefully inspiring the next generation.”

There will be a programme of activities based around Brian’s stories and unique opportunities for budding artists to learn new skills, including a local school competition called ‘Paws, Claws, Tales and Roars - The New Generation’.

A statement on behalf of Brian’s children said: “We are so happy to have been given the opportunity to celebrate our beloved father’s life and work in the place where he was born, the place where it all began - Barnsley.

“Its warm, friendly people and Yorkshire’s landscapes were so close to his heart and he often said he would move back there in a flash, if only it would stop raining.”

Brian died in 2016.