Tag Archives: Children’s Laureate

Laureate on ‘being lazy’

You can – probably – find time for ‘proper’ education some other time. You can do things late. If and when the children who are now at home all day return to school, I’m assuming the teachers will more or less continue where they left off six weeks ago.

Because even parents who have taught their children with diligence, and success, over this period, will not have done the same job as their children’s friends’ parents.

And for anyone who finds the current situation beyond stressful, any teaching will be hard to do. It’s enough to keep your child safe. And maybe do some of your own work, and also put food on the table every day.

I was glad to see that the Children’s laureate, Cressida Cowell, pitched in the other day, saying that now is a good time to encourage imagination and creativity at home. I sincerely hope she wasn’t wanting to burden parents with even more work, but intended it to mean that children should be allowed to work things out for themselves. A bit like the young Cressida did, in her television-free summer holidays.

The laureate herself is not being lazy. She has just had her two years of laureating extended to three. Well, it would have been a shame for all her plans to come to, if not nothing, then less, due to the virus. Besides it might prove hard to start looking for a replacement just now. We have other things on our minds.

But ‘just hanging out’ with the children at home could be nice (when you don’t feel like killing each other, that is). That’s what you will remember, and benefit from, once this is over.

It’s Cressida

After much speculation – well, in my circles, at least – as to who will be the next children’s laureate, we have the answer. It’s Cressida Cowell, who writes so well about dragons. Lots of young people read and like her books. What more could we want?

Cressida Cowell

For me it will be very practical as well, as I frequently look at a picture of Cressida and think ‘that’s Lauren Child,’ or the other way round. So now that she takes over from Lauren, they will be more closely linked than ever.

And it seems Cressida really is married to Simon Cowell. Only not that Simon Cowell. (When I saw the question online I thought what a silly question, but it seems it was me who was silly.)

Congratulations to Cressida, and may her reign be enjoyable and I hope she will be able to do what she hopes to achieve in her two years.

Good for children

We have a new Children’s Laureate. It’s the very popular Lauren Child – another illustrator – whose name I am childishly happy to realise is sort of similar to her new title; child and laure.

Chris Riddell and Lauren Child

When I spoke to Chris last year I wasn’t surprised to find that he was looking forward to the end of his two years, when he’d be able to maybe rest a little, and to concentrate on his own work. Though I am sure he will also miss the whole thing a bit.

Chris is a hard act to follow, so I’ll be interested to see what Lauren will do. (Rather her than me!) I never totally grasped Lauren’s greatness, with Offspring just too old for her oh so popular books. But listening to those who know better, she is big.

And hopefully full of energy. She’ll need it.

Another accolade to the illustrating world was Scottish Book Trust’s Outstanding Achievement Award given to Mairi Hedderwick last week. As with the laureate-ship I couldn’t quite come up with my own theoretical shortlist, but on finding out that Mairi was the inaugural winner, I felt it all made sense. Who else but Katie Morag’s mum?

Mairi Hedderwick

Isn’t it interesting that all three people in this post are illustrators? Authors as well, but rather better at drawing pictures than most of us.

‘Yes to everything’

When I saw Chris Riddell’s instagram doodle of Philip Ardagh yesterday morning, I sort of wondered if it ‘was him.’ Him, who would take over from Malorie Blackman as Children’s Laureate. Chris, I mean. Not Philip.

Chris Riddell doodle

Seems my instincts were right. I’d not spent a lot of time thinking about who might be next, because for some reason nobody very obvious jumped out at me when I tried. But now it is very obvious indeed. This laureate business couldn’t have happened to a nicer, or more suitable, man.

Congratulations, Chris! Let’s hope laureating is not a Fete Worse Than Death.

Chris Riddell

This makes me wish more than ever that I could be in two places at once. Chris invited me to some do, down in Sussex in early July, but I had already promised Manchester I’d spend the day there. Where is that timeturner when I need it?

Last month I was asked to write something (which you will find out about at some point), for which I thought an illustration by Chris would be just the thing. First I had to own up to having ‘borrowed’ it already, and then I needed to ask his permission to do so again. And a few other questions.

His reply was the quote above, and I rather wished I’d asked for more when I received it. But I concluded I could simply choose to use it as a blanket OK for anything else I might think of…