BookTrust Annual Lecture 2017: Staring into Space with Lauren Child

Lauren Child - then Waterstones Children's Laureate - gave the Annual Lecture at a special event at RIBA in London in 2017.

Lauren Child gives the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2017

The theme of Lauren's lecture was 'What do you think about when you think about nothing?' and she explored the importance of allowing children time to daydream and be creative.

She also touched on the importance of diversity in children's books and suggested that writing and illustrations for young people should be valued and taken more seriously as an art form.

Guests at the lecture included Ed Vere, Andy Stanton and Nadia Shireen and the event also featured a 25th anniversary celebration of BookTrust's flagship Bookstart programme, which entitles every child in England and Wales to two free book packs before they turn five.

During the event, Bookstart founder Wendy Cooling was presented with a special Outstanding Contribution award by BookTrust's CEO Diana Gerald and chair of trustees Karen Brown.

Download the full press release

Relive Floella Benjamin's lecture in pictures

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Floella Benjamin prepares to give the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Samira Ahmed and Floella Benjamin together at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Guests arrive for the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Authors Marianne Levy, Philip Ardagh and Helen Oxenbury enjoy themselves at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Author Catherine Johnson with a guest at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Author Ed Vere and Bookstart founder Wendy Cooling deep in conversation
Authors Fleur Hitchcock and Christopher Edge chat at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Little Monkey author Marta Altés was among the guests at the event
BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald opens the Lecture
Baroness Floella Benjamin smiles at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
Floella Benjamin delivers the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018
Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed at the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018
Baroness Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed discuss Floella's speech
Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed talking on stage at the BookTrust Annual Lecture
A guest grabs a photo of Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed
BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Samira Ahmed... and Humpty
Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture
Auhors Ed Vere, Philip Ardagh and Liz Pichon enjoy chatting post-Lecture
Samira Ahmed speaks to guests after the Lecture
Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture
Floella Benjamin prepares to give the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Samira Ahmed and Floella Benjamin together at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Guests arrive for the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Authors Marianne Levy, Philip Ardagh and Helen Oxenbury enjoy themselves at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Author Catherine Johnson with a guest at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Author Ed Vere and Bookstart founder Wendy Cooling deep in conversation

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Authors Fleur Hitchcock and Christopher Edge chat at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Little Monkey author Marta Altés was among the guests at the event

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BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald opens the Lecture

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Baroness Floella Benjamin smiles at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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Floella Benjamin delivers the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018

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Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed at the BookTrust Annual Lecture 2018

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Baroness Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed discuss Floella's speech

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Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed talking on stage at the BookTrust Annual Lecture

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A guest grabs a photo of Floella Benjamin and Samira Ahmed

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BookTrust CEO Diana Gerald, Baroness Floella Benjamin, Samira Ahmed... and Humpty

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Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture

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Auhors Ed Vere, Philip Ardagh and Liz Pichon enjoy chatting post-Lecture

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Samira Ahmed speaks to guests after the Lecture

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Baroness Floella Benjamin enjoys speaking to guests after the Lecture

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More about Lauren Child

Lauren Child is a multi-award-winning, bestselling writer and artist whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of characters including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola.

Lauren Child has been at the forefront of innovation in children's books for over 15 years and has raised the profile of illustration as an artform for all ages. She's worked with mixed media, pioneered text as an integral part of illustration and collaborated with artists across different fields.

Lauren Child

Lauren is also a passionate advocate for visual literacy and the importance of quality picture books for children. She is also passionate about encouraging creativity in children and adults. She is a trustee of House of Illustration, a gallery set up by former Laureate Sir Quentin Blake. She has been awarded an MBE for her work and was appointed as an Artist for Peace by Unesco in 2008.

She was named Waterstones Children's Laureate at a special event in Hull in 2017 and held the role for two years before passing on the baton to Cressida Cowell.

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