The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers

John Yeoman, Quentin Blake

About a boy who sprouts antlers and the power of self-belief, this classic tale by John Yeoman, illustrated by Quentin Blake, is as charming and relevant today as it was fifty years ago. 

It is nearly summer and Billy Dexter and his classmates are making baskets. Their teacher is so appalled by Billy’s efforts that she offers him a pep talk. “As long as you set your mind on something and try hard enough, there’s nothing you can’t do.” Billy loves the idea that he can do anything, but his friends disagree. “What about growing horns?” suggests Melanie. It’s a challenge Billy has to accept.

Sure enough, when Billy sets his mind to it, antlers start to grow. But despite his mother’s dismay, Billy’s new condition is accepted and life returns to normal. That is, until Billy spies a burglar in the headmaster’s office and does what any child who has sprouted antlers would do—he head-butts the intruder. Billy instantly becomes a hero. With the change of season, Billy sheds his antlers, but before long, his friend Melanie issues another boy in their class a new challenge: “Bet you couldn’t grow a trunk.”

Full of John Yeoman’s trademark wit and Quentin Blake’s inimitable illustrations, this facsimile edition of The Boy Who Sprouted Antlers, originally published in 1961, will delight young readers. 


John Yeoman


John Yeoman was head of English at the French Lyceée in London. His collaboration with Quentin Blake has resulted in a long list of successful children’s books.

Quentin Blake

Illustrated By

Sir Quentin Blake is an internationally celebrated illustrator, known for his collaborations with authors such as Roald Dahl, Russell Hoban, John Yeoman, David Walliams, and Joan Aiken. A winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, he received a knighthood in 2013 and was awarded France's Legion d'Honneur in 2014.