The role is awarded every two years to celebrate an exceptional author or illustrator of children’s books and to recognise their importance in creating new readers.
Famous for his Ottoline series and for his work with Paul Stewart on The Edge Chronicles, Muddle Earth and Barnaby Grimes books, Chris Riddell has also collaborated with Neil Gaiman, Michael Rosen and Quentin Blake. Last year he won the Costa children’s book award for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, which has also been shortlisted for this year’s Kate Greenaway medal.
During his time as Laureate, Chris Riddell will focus on creativity and visual literacy, in particular advocating the simple pleasure of drawing as another way of telling a story. In an interview with the Guardian he says:
"I want to bring drawing back to the basics, making it about the pleasure that it can afford and remove the notion that it's some kind of precious or difficult activity. It's another way of telling a story".
Chris will also focus on the importance of school libraries and librarians, spreading awareness of their role saying:
Librarians “are the custodians of literacy – they lay the stepping stones that start the journey from one book to another, widening horizons and the reading experience.” (Guardian.com interview)
To find out more about Chris Riddell visit the Children's Laureate web site.
You can find many of Chris Riddell’s books in the Discovery Library.