Entertainment & Arts

Children's laureate Lauren Child: What will she have to do?

Lauren Child Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Child also wrote the Clarice Bean series

Charlie and Lola creator Lauren Child has been named as the new children's laureate, taking over from Goth Girl author Chris Riddell.

But how is the post appointed?

The children's laureate - always a well-known writer or illustrator of children's books - is chosen by a panel of judges from the book world. It comes with a bursary of £15,000, not to mention a shiny, silver medal.

So what do they actually do?

The role has a pretty loose job description - the laureate has to "promote and encourage children's interest in books, reading and writing".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Blake was the first children's laureate

Who are the previous children's laureates?

  • Quentin Blake (1999-2001)
  • Anne Fine (2001-2003)
  • Michael Morpurgo (2003-2005)
  • Jacqueline Wilson (2005-2007)
  • Michael Rosen (2007-2009)
  • Anthony Browne (2009-2011)
  • Julia Donaldson (2011-2013)
  • Malorie Blackman (2013-2015)
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Riddell's aim was to "encourage drawing every day" as part of his role as children's laureate

And what kind of things have they done in the role?

Jacqueline Wilson's "obsession" while she was children's laureate was to "get everyone to read aloud to children, all children, from the age of nought to 11".

Malorie Blackman revealed that she spoke to over 20,000 teenagers when she was in the role but arguably her main achievement was setting up the UK's Young Adult Literature Convention, which now takes place each year as part of the London Film and Comic Con.

Chris Riddell has spent much of his two years defending school libraries and librarians, and promoting the art of illustration at live events. In his final speech before he passes on the baton, he said the lack of investment in school libraries is a "blight on the intellectual development and creative future of all our children", as well as highlighting the issues faced by child refugees in the UK.

Quentin Blake, the first children's laureate and best-known for his collaborations with Roald Dahl, produced a book called A Sailing Boat in the Sky in collaboration with 1800 French-speaking schoolchildren.


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