Children's books should be taken seriously, says Lauren Child

Published on: 19 October 2017 Author: Catriona Wightman

The Waterstones Children's Laureate Lauren Child will call for children's books to be taken seriously as an art form at BookTrust's Annual Lecture this evening.

Lauren Child

The Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort author will take to the stage at RIBA in London to suggest that children's books should be valued and point out that they can be sophisticated, powerful and life-changing.

'Children's emotions are so powerful,' she will say. 'They are arguably the hardest audience out. If they don't like something, they are not going to stick around politely.'

Child will also point out the importance of images in children's books, saying, 'Illustration doesn't just decorate the text, it takes it so much further - it conveys a darkness, or a lightness, that is not there in the words.

'Children's illustration is seen as 'nice' but actually it communicates something of ourselves.'

Child's lecture - which will be given to an audience of her peers and members of the publishing industry in London on 19 October - is titled, 'What do you think about when you think about nothing?'

She is also expected to discuss the value in letting children daydream and be creative as well as the importance of diversity in children's books.

Lauren Child

This will be the second BookTrust Annual Lecture after former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo delivered a speech last year about the importance of fostering a love of stories in children.

BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald said: 'We are delighted to host the second BookTrust Annual Lecture and honoured to welcome Lauren Child to the stage.

'It is vital that views and issues within the children's reading space continue to be debated and discussed and this is a very positive platform in which to do that.

'At BookTrust we are all about getting children reading for pleasure. Children who enjoy reading are happier, healthier and more empathetic. They do better in life generally. Children need to be supported to find books that they love and BookTrust delivers books and guidance to over 3.4 million children each year in order to help this happen.'

Child was named as the 10th Waterstones Children's Laureate earlier this year, following in the footsteps of previous authors and illustrators such as Michael Rosen, Chris Riddell, Julia Donaldson and Malorie Blackman.

Read the full press release

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