Celebrating the Outgoing Waterstones Children's Laureate: Chris Riddell's Top 10 Illustrators

Posted on 5th June 2017 by Martha Greengrass

'I love books with pictures and the illustrators who work with writers to create them.'

Drawing his way around the country, armed with a ready supply of sketchbooks, a pen (inevitably tucked behind one ear) and a seemingly endless capacity for inspiring creativity and a love of imagination, Chris Riddell’s tireless dedication to his work as Waterstones Children’s Laureate has been immeasurable. He’s not only been a champion of children’s books and reading but also a pioneer of illustration, with his pictorial ‘Laureate’s Log’ (now collected in Travels with my Sketchbook) providing a unique record of his wonderful work. 

To celebrate his time in post, Chris has kindly gifted Waterstones an exclusive, pictorial rogue’s gallery of ten of his all-time favourite illustrators, past and present. As he hands on the baton to Lauren Child and hopefully puts his feet up for a well-earned cup of tea and a biscuit or three, we at Waterstones offer all our thanks for his work and for taking us along on his extraordinary Waterstones Children's Laureate journey. 

1. Sir John Tenniel

John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland: Alice meets the Cheshire Cat and Tenniel's original black and white sketches.

2. Pauline Baynes

Pauline Baynes' illustrations and fantasy cartography for The Chronicles of Narnia: Original cover image for The Horse and His Boy and a map of Narnia.

3. Ernest Shepard

An extract from The House at Pooh Corner with E.H. Shepard's iconic pictures of Pooh, Piglet, Christopher Robin and Eeyore.

4. Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake's illustrated covers for Joan Aiken's Arabel and Mortimer series: Arabel's Raven and Arabel, Mortimer and the Escaped Black Mamba.

5. Posy Simmonds

Posy Simmonds expertly captured vignettes of everyday life: a 'before and after' portrait of Gemma Bovery and an extract from Tamara Drewe.

6. Alexis Deacon

Alexis Deacon's extraordinary fantasy landscapes: extracts from his graphic novel, Geis

7. Ed Vere

The colourful world of Ed Vere's popular children's books: extracts from Banana! and Mr Big.

8. Laura Carlin

Laura Carlin's subtle and inventive imagination: illustrations for a new edition of Ted Hughes' The Iron Man and Nicola Davies The Promise.

9. William Grill

William Grill's intricately detailed non-fiction books for children: illustrated cover image from The Wolves of Currumpaw and a catalogue of Shackleton's dogs from Shackleton's Journey.

10. Chris Haughton

Chris Haughton's eye-catching and hilarious children's worlds: illustrations from bestselling picture book Shh! We Have a Plan

Travels with my Sketchbook is published on 13th July 2017 and is available to pre-order at Waterstones now.

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A beautiful illustrated record of Chris Riddell's time as the Children's Laureate 2015-2017
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James Tigg

Fascinating. Can we have 10 more please? Then 10 more? Then 10 more? (enough, ed.) View more

James Tigg
13th June 2017
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