The Waterstones Children's Laureate 2015

Latest update 'Chris Riddell appointed Children's Laureate in June 2015'

The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.

Chris RiddellChris Riddell, creator of the bestselling Goth Girl series, double CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal winner and political cartoonist, has been appointed the ninth Waterstones Children's Laureate. Riddell, 53, launched his laureateship by championing creativity in schools and beyond, and asking families to come together and unleash their imaginations by 'drawing every day.'

 

Recognising the legacy of the role he is inheriting, he said:

I couldn't be more proud to accept this vital role, on which successive Laureates have stamped their identities in their own distinctive ways. During my term, I want to use the immediacy and universality of illustration to bring people together and lead them all into the wonderful world of books and reading.

I am humbled to take on this role after the giants that have come before me. I want to put the joy of creativity, of drawing every day, of having a go and being surprised at what one can achieve with just a pencil and an idea at the heart of my term as Laureate. I want to make sure people have fun whilst addressing fundamental issues I care about passionately.

I'm interested in illustration in all its forms, not only in books for children but in posters, prints and performance, as a way of drawing people into books and stories. I want to continue to explore interesting ways to bring words and pictures together over the next two years.

Riddell revealed plans to put visual literacy at the heart of his term of office, which runs until 2017. He will use his Laureate's Log - an online visual diary of his time in the role - to entertain and inform those who follow his progress, and encourage families to keep their own visual diaries. He will celebrate and defend school libraries and librarians who, together with parents, match children with books that will inspire and help them grow into great readers and thinkers. He intends to emphasise the excitement of illustration at live events, both alone and with unexpected collaborators from across the arts.


Calling for more time and space to be allocated to reading in schools, he added:

It's surely bizarre that it is not a requirement for the very places where children will learn how to read, draw, think and create to have a space for books. I want to help and encourage every school to do more for readers: if they have nowhere to read, create a space with a few books; if they have a bookshelf, have two; if they have a reading room, aim for a library!

Abigail Campbell, Chair of the Children's Laureate Steering Group, said:

Chris is a creative powerhouse and clearly excited at his new position's potential: he will be listened to not just by the young people he meets, but by opinion-formers and policy-makers at the highest level. He will inspire children and families in the work he does over the next two years. The panel cannot wait to see children's books' new super hero in action.

Waterstones Managing Director James Daunt said:

The Laureate performs an important role in bringing issues of literacy to public attention, and each does it in their own inimitable style. We at Waterstones could not be happier at Chris's appointment: he is a firm favourite of our booksellers and of by far our most important customers - the young readers of the United Kingdom. We will be very proud to support him over the next two years.

 

Visit the Children's Laureate website to find out more about Chris Riddell's laureateship

Biography

Chris Riddell is an illustrator, artist and political cartoonist. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children which have won a number of major prizes, including the 2001 and 2004 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. His previous work for Macmillan includes the bestselling Ottoline books, The Emperor of Absurdia, and, with Paul Stewart, Muddle Earth and the Blobheads series.

 

Chris lives in Brighton with his family. He is on Twitter as

Books by Chris Riddell

  • Something Else

    by

    Kathryn Cave
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Puffin
  • Fergus Crane

    by

    Paul Stewart
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Corgi Children's
  • Blobheads

    by

    Paul Stewart
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Macmillan Children's books
  • Corby Flood

    by

    Paul Stewart
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Yearling
  • Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

    by

    Chris Riddell
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Macmillan Children's Books
  • Muddle Earth

    by

    Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Macmillan Children's books
  • Platypus

    by

    Chris Riddell
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Puffin
  • Jonathan Swift's Gulliver

    by

    Martin Jenkins
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Walker Books
  • Wendel's Workshop

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children's Books
  • Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf

    by

    Paul Stewart
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Corgi Children's
  • The Emperor of Absurdia

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children's books
  • The Graveyard Book

    by

    Neil Gaiman
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury
  • Mr Underbed

    by

    Chris Riddell
    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Andersen Press
  • WyrmeWeald: Returners Wealth

    by

    Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell

    Illustrator: Chris Riddell

    Corgi Children's
  • Alienography

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children's books
  • Thawing Frozen Frogs

    by

    Brian Patten
    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • A Little Bit of Winter

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Andersen Press
  • Alienography 2: Tips for Tiny Tyrants

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children's Books
  • Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children's Books
  • Fortunately the Milk

    by

    Neil Gaiman

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury Children's
  • The Sleeper and the Spindle

    by

    Neil Gaiman

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Bloomsbury
  • Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan
  • A Great Big Cuddle

    by

    Michael Rosen

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Walker Books
  • The Edge Chronicles: Beyond the Deepwords

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Barnaby Grimes: Curse of the Night Wolf

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • The Edge Chronicles: Doombringer

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Ottoline Goes to School

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan's Children's Books
  • Ottoline at Sea

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan's Children's Books
  • Fergus Crane

    by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
    Corgi
  • Hugo Pepper

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Barnaby Grimes: Legion of the Dead

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • The Edge Chronicles: Midnight Over Sanctaphrax

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Wyrmeweald: Bloodhoney

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Wyrmeweald: The Bone Trail

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Scavenger: Chaos Zone

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Macmillan Children's Books
  • Scavenger: Zoid

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Macmillan Children's Books
  • The Edge Chronicles: Stormchaser

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • The Edge Chronicles: The Nameless One

    by

    Paul Stewart

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Corgi
  • Chris Riddell's Doodle-a-Day

    by Chris Riddell
  • My Little Book of Big Freedoms

    by Chris Riddell
    Amnesty International UK
  • Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright

    by Chris Riddell
    Macmillan Children’s Books
  • Monster Slayer

    by

    Brian Patten

    Illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Barrington Stoke

About the The Waterstones Children's Laureate 2015

The role of Children’s Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. The role of Children's Laureate covers the UK - England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

 

The idea for the Children's Laureate originated from a conversation between (the then) Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and children's writer Michael Morpurgo. The post was established in 1999 to celebrate exceptional children’s authors and illustrators and to acknowledge their importance in creating the readers of tomorrow. Quentin Blake was the first Children's Laureate (1999-2001), followed by Anne Fine (2001-2003), Michael Morpurgo (2003-2005), Jacqueline Wilson (2005-2007), Michael Rosen (2007-2009), Anthony Browne (2009-2011), Julia Donaldson (2011-2013) and Malorie Blackman (2013-2015).

 

Visit the Children's Laureate website for more information and to follow the current Laureate.

The judges consider nominations for the Children's Laureate from a range of organisations representing librarians, critics, writers, literature development workers and booksellers, including the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). They also consider authors and illustrators nominated by children who voted online through the website www.childrenslaureate.org.uk.

  

The Children's Laureateship is managed by Book Trust, who work closely with the Children's Laureate Steering Committee, made up of representatives of the children's book world. The Steering Group provides a range of expertise and guidance with which to support the Children's Laureate's work.


The current Steering Committee comprises:

 

  • Kate Agnew - children's bookseller, Muswell Hill Children's Bookshop, representing the Booksellers' Association
  • Abigail Campbell (Chair) - freelance children's literature consultant
  • Ciara Eastell - Head of Libraries, Culture & Heritage for Devon CC; President of Society of Chief Librarians
  • Julia Eccleshare - Children's Books Editor for the Guardian
  • Lindsey Fraser - literary agent
  • Alyx Price - Communications Director at Macmillan Children's Books, representing the Publishers Association Children's Group
  • Professor Kim Reynolds - University of Newcastle
  • Claire Shanahan - Head of Arts, Book Trust

 

Waterstones is the lead sponsor of the Children's Laureate post, with other sponsorship and funding coming from children's publishers, and Arts Council England (ACE).

 

The Children's Laureate receives a bursary of £15,000 and a specially designed and inscribed silver medal.

 

If you have any questions regarding the Children's Laureate please email Robyn Donaldson or call her on 0207 801 8845.