Gentle gorillas?

Between you and me, I find Anthony Browne’s gorillas a little frightening. To look at, you understand. I like cute, and they are not cute. Not that I know them terribly well, because yet again I seem to have omitted something important in Offsprings’ education. We did not read Anthony Browne’s books. We obviously should have, and then I would have known something about our new Children’s Laureate.

What struck me when reading about him in the Guardian on Tuesday, was how young he is. Second thought was that at that age he isn’t all that young, but he looks it. The other thing that worried me was all the talk on Facebook and everyone seemed to know who to expect as the new laureate. I didn’t. Who have I not buttered up? I could think of lots of good prospective laureates, but in my gorilla-free state Anthony was not one of them. 

I’m glad, though, that another illustrator has been chosen, because it makes for a nice mix of interests. And it’s good that the reward has gone up to £15,000. It’s still not a lot, but any improvement is an improvement. We should be grateful that anyone at all wants to do the job. Why would authors/illustrators give up a lot of their time for very little money? Though it seems as if Michael Rosen enjoyed himself. Or perhaps he was just being his normal sweet self in saying so.

Come to think of it; in my impoverished state £15,000 isn’t bad. If I didn’t suffer stage fright I’d say Bookwitch for Children’s Laureate next time. Hmm. No. I seem to recall a need for some minimum of published books. Oh, well.

3 responses to “Gentle gorillas?

  1. I’m delighted at the choice of the youthful Mr Browne. He is beloved at GlioriSchloss, by the smalls and their attendant slave-readers, pickers-up-of-discarded-stuff, launderers-of-scanties-too-horrific-to-mention, taxi-drivers-with-ungrateful-clientele and the other million quotidian tasks done by parents for their foul broods, all brilliantly and wickedly brought to life by Anthony Browne in his masterwork ‘Piggybook’. The gorillas are brilliant, but the family in Piggybook are phenomenal.

    So, hoorah for an illustrator in charge of the laureateship. Picture books will have the best ambassador imaginable for the next two years.

  2. I agree with Debi. He will be fab. And he’s always looked that young–at least I don’t feel he’s changed much since I first met him with Julia Macrae (who was then his publisher) more than 20 years ago. Wish I looked the same as then! Perhaps he has a picture in the attic….

    Lucy at

  3. I’m glad somebody knows something.

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