Lauren Child, award winning author and illustrator, has become the tenth Children’s Laureate. Child’s work includes the Charlie and Lola and the Clarice Bean picture books, and the Ruby Redfort children’s fiction series.
The job description of children’s laureate is broad-brush, and each of the laureates has interpreted the role according to their own enthusiasms and concerns. From the interviews she has given across various news platforms, Child is keen to promote creativity and allowing children time to dream. She is concerned about representation and equality in children’s literature. While girls are happy to read about boy characters, she worries that boys are often reluctant to read books about girls.
“I don’t know if it’s just in our culture, or whether it’s a boy thing, that they find it very hard to pick up a book or go to a film if a girl is the central character,” she told BBC News. “I don’t know where that comes from but it worries me because it makes it harder for girls to be equal.”
Child is also concerned about the closure of libraries, and school libraries in particular. In this, she will be following in the campaigning footsteps of the outgoing Children’s Laureate, the inspirational and energetic Chris Riddell.
Many thanks to Chris for championing libraries, as well as promoting reading and sketching and the joy of children’s literature, for the past two years. Here (right) is his interpretation of a Neil Gaiman quote.
Credits: (images) Waterstones and Chris Riddell’s ‘Laureate Log’; (quotes) BBC News Online