Ten Best Illustrators

Published on: 23 March 2011 Author: Polly Dunbar

The fantastic author and illustrator of loads of great children's books, including Penguin and Happy Hector, Polly Dunbar became our fourth Writer in Residence back in 2010. In this blog Polly spoke about the importance of recognising up and coming illustrators.

Polly Dunbar

I've got a fuzzy head this morning; imagine squeezing ten very nervous people into a cupboard with ninety very excited people and then plying them all with fizzy pop..POW!! It was the award ceremony for the Ten Best New Illustrators last night. Anthony Browne and Lauren Child presented the awards; it was a glittery event!

...and what an exciting, dynamic line up of new illustrators. I'm familiar with a few of their books already. I'm a big fan of Tiny Little Fly by Kevin Waldron; I was lucky enough to get sneaky peaks while it was in the making at Walker. A Bit Lost by Chris Haughton made me snort with laughter when I first read it.

Last night I got to meet lovely Katie Clemenson whose book Wake Up! is a new favourite. Joe Berger and Viviane Swcharz have literally just appeared on breakfast TV while I'm writing this, WOO!! There are more names on the list whose work I'm discovering for the first time. The selection of art exhibited was diverse, edgy and sophisticated; dispelling the myth that kids books have to be soft and fluffy- far from it.

Illustrations from the Ten Best New Illustrators 2011 ceremony

I was one of the Ten Best back in 2008, it was great to feel part of the team. The award is not just about raising the profile of individuals, though it will give them a chance to get involved in exhibitions, festivals, school visits and the book world at large; they will also be raising the profile of illustration as a whole; ambassadors spreading a love of picture books...what a role! So while they're busy with all that, I'm going to make a nice cup of tea and nurse my sore head...

Read more blogs from Polly


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