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Books pledge by Children's Laureate

Published 09/06/2015

Chris Riddell wants every school to have space for books and reading
Chris Riddell wants every school to have space for books and reading

Best-selling illustrator and author Chris Riddell has been unveiled as the new Children's Laureate and has promised to lead people "into the wonderful world of books".

Riddell, creator of the best-selling Goth Girl series who also works as a political cartoonist, takes over the two-year role from Malorie Blackman.

He said: " I couldn't be more proud to accept this vital role, on which successive Laureates have stamped their identities in their own distinctive ways. During my term, I want to use the immediacy and universality of illustration to bring people together and lead them all into the wonderful world of books and reading."

Riddell said he planned to keep an online diary - the Laureate's Log - of writing and sketches and said he wanted to encourage schools to give more time to reading.

He said: "It's surely bizarre that it is not a requirement for the very places where children will learn how to read, draw, think and create to have a space for books.

"I want to help and encourage every school to do more for readers: if they have nowhere to read, create a space with a few books; if they have a bookshelf, have two; if they have a reading room, aim for a library."

Accepting his new role at a ceremony at Bafta in central London, Riddell unveiled sketches of his predecessors including Quentin Blake and Jacqueline Wilson.

He said: " I am humbled to take on this role after the giants that have come before me. I want to put the joy of creativity, of drawing every day, of having a go and being surprised at what one can achieve with just a pencil and an idea at the heart of my term as Laureate.

"I want to make sure people have fun whilst addressing fundamental issues I care about passionately."

Other previous holders of the title include Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Julia Donaldson.

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