Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson named Children's Laureate
Tuesday 07 June 2011
The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has been unveiled as the new Children's Laureate and said she will "relish" the role.
The 62-year-old writer, who was born in London but lives in Glasgow, takes on the two-year role from outgoing laureate Anthony Browne.
She said: "I think some people would not want to do it because they think it would distract them from writing but I relish that public role.
"My husband has been going on for years saying, 'You should be the Children's Laureate' so any resistance I might have had has been beaten down years ago."
Donaldson has written more than 120 books including The Snail And The Whale and teenage novel Running On The Cracks.
Her most famous work, The Gruffalo, tells the story of how a mouse outwits the mythical creature, and has sold millions of copies.
An animated film adaptation was nominated for an Oscar last year.
Donaldson said she was looking forward to becoming an "advocate" for reading but said she was not worried the work would get in the way of her writing.
She said: "Luckily I was quite productive before I knew about this so I got a couple of texts finished and there are more on the way so I don't think the public will notice any gaps."
She added she wanted to "explore the ways performance can help children enjoy reading and grow in confidence" and was thinking of planning "a big public performance" to mark the end of her stint in the role.
Donaldson said she would also like to promote signed stories for deaf children and add her voice to campaigns against library closures.
She was presented with the Children's Laureate medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque at an event in central London today by Baroness Floella Benjamin, who chaired this year's selection committee.
The former children's television presenter said Donaldson had "a passion to excite, educate and entertain children through her writing which fires up their imagination in a most delightful way".
Previous laureates since the post was created in 1999 have included Quentin Blake, Michael Morpurgo and Jacqueline Wilson.
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Young Preston fan has play-off hero Jermaine Beckford's shirt stolen from him at Wembley - which then appears for sale on Gumtree
- 4 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 5 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people