Sunday, June 11, 2017

Lauren Child..New UK Childrens' Laureate

A couple of days ago, it was announced that the new UK Childrens Laureate is Lauren Child. Child brings with her a back catalog of some 40 odd books as writer, illustrator and writer/illustrator. She has received 13 awards and honours in her career. And she brings with her something very close to my heart...a knowledge and passion for the importance of reading for pleasure. Acknowledging the importance of this, Child is quoted as saying:
"There's talk of how children should be reading, but if you can get a child excited about it that's half the work done."
Indeed. A child who learns to approach reading, not as a chore, work or a lesson that must be learned, but rather as a joy, a window to the world, a map to  places and people and things...this child will suddenly open up a far easier route to education and to life in general.
But I am rambling now.
Lauren Child speaks of creativity; of inspiration. And she does not limit these notions to herself and the few others who venture into a career path that leads them down an artistic course. She doesn't like seeing any childs' ideas compartmentalised and limited; that creativity should be encouraged in everyone. And her own creative impulses, along with a lot of hard work, have brought the world some of the most exciting, free and imaginative books in childrens' fiction today...books that, may well be in the land of fiction, but they think like children think; they speak like children speak; and they go on the journeys that children would love to take.
The Charlie and Lola series for young readers is such fun and gives genuine voice to childrens' daily lives. Clarice Bean is a wonderful realistic character. And the Ruby Redfort book series provides daring, excitement and drama (along with that bit of humour). (Both of my kids book clubs are really into the Ruby Redfort books. And if you think its' just a 'girls' book series, it's the boys that ask about them most often. They love them!) Her illustration work is filled with a marvelous, and given the way she works with collage and textile work woven into the picture, sometimes quite literal world-building that is rich, bright and fun.
The next two years will be very busy for Lauren Child. And I am excited to see the kind of ideas and discussion her tenure as Childrens Laureate brings to the table. Congratulations to Lauren Child! An outstanding choice.
Now...I have to immerse myself in Ruby Redfort. There is going to be a lively discussion at the next meeting that will keep me on my toes!
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/09/lauren-child-childrens-laureate-interview-charlie-and-lola-clarice-bean

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