Thursday, June 09, 2011

Children's Laureate 2011-2013

A packed hall at Kings Place sat through nine(!) speeches which, in differing ways, celebrated the post of the Children's Laureate.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries said "I am determined to see the library service thrive" and he also expressed his view that "libraries and the book are fundamental to children's education".

Julia Donaldson said that she wants to reinforce the work done by the six previous laureates and to bring a touch of drama and music to the role. She said "I'd like to encourage children to write plays as well as act in them" and that "drama and music are going to be my main mission". She said she would put an emphasis on helping deaf children participate fully. She would speak up against the cuts and "library closures that are so damaging to our children's future". She mentioned the Campaign for the Book and that she would "like to do a libraries tour and combine drama with libraries".

18 children's publishers sponsor the award and the main sponsor is now Waterstone's who said they would be having window displays in something like 120 of their stores (sorry not to be precise my attention drifted). Waterstone's further announced that they planned to increase the size of their children's department where possible. Administration continues to be handled by Book Trust.

Enid Stephenson

(top pic: Floella Benjamin, Chair of the CL selection panel, Anthony Browne outgoing Children's Laureate, Ed Vaizey. Second pic: Julia Donaldson during her acceptance speech)

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