The Independent reports that professionally, Wildsmith enjoyed a successful career as a children’s books creator. He was especially well-regarded for his artistry and paintings. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote the stories and created illustrations for more than 80 books.
Here’s more from The Bookseller: “Wildsmith began working with Oxford University Press in the late 1950s when children’s publisher, Mabel George, commissioned him to illustrate 12 colour plates for Tales from the Arabian Nights. This was followed by ABC, published in 1961, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal. Wildsmith’s ‘fruitful and creative’ collaboration with OUP continued after George’s retirement in 1974 with the appointment of Ron Heapy as publisher, a role which he held for more than 20 years. During this period Wildsmith produced some of his best-loved and best-known titles, including A Christmas Story and Cat on the Mat.”