New BookTrust Illustrator in Residence Ed Vere is set to inspire with the power of pictures for children’s wellbeing

Published on: 02 March 2020

New York Times bestselling writer and illustrator of picture books Ed Vere is taking the reins as BookTrust’s Illustrator in Residence. Well-known for his children’s books including Max the Brave and How To Be A Lion, Ed is passionate about the importance of drawing and its connection with children’s education and wellbeing.

From 2 March, Ed will take over from current Writer in Residence Cerrie Burnell and share his knowledge on developing confidence and self-expression in children through drawing. From top tips, how-tos and special secrets in videos and blogs on the BookTrust website, Ed is keen to share his understanding with families, friends and teachers across the country.

Writer and Illustrator Ed Vere comments:

'I’m thrilled to be working with BookTrust as their Illustrator in Residence. Whilst there, I want to draw attention to drawing. What happens when we draw and how does it make us think? Why do most of us stop loving it as we grow older and where did we lose our confidence with it. Were we taught to be too self-critical?

I’d like to start a conversation about what drawing can bring to our lives, how we re-instil confidence in those who lost it and how we aren’t using it in schools. As we realise how prevalent mental health issues are today, drawing can be a powerful means of self-expression. I want to get us all, adults and children, drawing again and to create a forum where we can share those drawings.

I’d also like to give attention to ‘Power of Pictures’, a programme I co-created with CLPE which works to bring visual literacy into an educational environment, showing how we can use drawing to successfully help those who are equally bright but think less ‘academically’. Please add your voice to the conversation. We’d love to hear from everyone, those who draw, those in education and those who use drawing to help others.'

As well as sharing his expertise, Ed is excited about creating a social media movement to get more children drawing. As part of his residency with BookTrust, he will be inviting parents, artists and children to create an online picture gallery to be enjoyed by all.

If you want to catch Ed in person over next few months you will be able to find him at the Hay Festival in May, and he’ll be on the BookTrust website and social channels from March to August this year.

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO said:

'We are incredibly lucky to welcome the talented Ed Vere as the next BookTrust Illustrator in Residence. This project offers children, families and educators an exclusive insight into the minds of acclaimed writers and illustrators. We could not think of a better topic for Ed to be covering. It’s more important now than ever to be encouraging creativity, protecting children’s wellbeing and inspiring the next generation of future writers and illustrators.'

The BookTrust Writer/Illustrator in Residence project has been running since March 2009 and has featured several authors and illustrators including Cressida Cowell, Sita Brahmachari, Patrick Ness, Polly Dunbar, Bali Rai, Matt Haig, Laura Dockrill, Chris Riddell, Sarah McIntyre, Philip Ardagh, Taran Matharu, Nadia Shireen, Candy Gourlay and Phil Earle. The residency encourages each writer or illustrator to explore topics that they are passionate about, with past residents exploring themes such as the power of stories, diversity in children’s literature and the importance of libraries.

From Monday 2 March, keep up-to-date with all of Ed’s blogs here.

Read the press release

Meet our latest Writer in Residence

Every six months, BookTrust appoints a new Writer in Residence to write blogs, run competitions and give us their own unique perspective on the world of children's books. Our current Writer in Residence is Rashmi Sirdeshpande.

Find out more