Booktrust and Waterstones are delighted to announce that Julia Donaldson, author of the multi-million selling children's book The Gruffalo, is the new Waterstones Children's Laureate. The announcement took place on Tuesday 7 June 2011 and will see Donaldson taking over from outgoing Children's Laureate, Anthony Browne.
The role of Children's Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Donaldson, the first Scottish based author to receive the Laureateship, said: "It is a great honour to have been chosen as the new Waterstones Children's Laureate. Over the next two years I hope to find every opportunity to be a spokesperson and advocate for children's books and reading."
Julia is the author of over 120 books and plays for children and teenagers, including The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Stick Man, Cave Baby, Freddie and the Fairy and What the Ladybird Heard and the award-winning teenage novel Running on the Cracks. In 2010, Donaldson was the most borrowed children's author from UK libraries.
During her two year tenure Julia will bring her passion for the spoken word, rhyme, song and drama to the fore, by making children's literature in performance a key focus of her laureateship: "With my background in plays and song-writing, I am particularly keen to develop projects which link books with drama and music, and to explore the ways performance can help children enjoy reading and grow in confidence."