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Becoming Children's Laureate

19 March 2018

'Becoming children's laureate has given me a voice. I'm determined to change the snobby attitude around picture books. Children's illustration is viewed as the poor relation to fine-art painting, yet it's children's first introduction to art and can have a profound effect on how they view the world. John Burningham's Granpa, which deals with the loss of a loved one, explains grief to a child far better than anything else...

I experienced failure until my thirties. I always knew I wanted to do something art-related, but I had no idea what. After art school I did everything from mixing colours for Damien Hirst to starting a chandelier company, all the while writing and inventing characters for books, films, TV, but getting rejections. It took five years before Clarice Bean was published, and that was the turning-point. It took a long time to support myself solely on illustration.'

Lauren Child, UK Children's Laureate and author of the Charlie and Lola picture books and the Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort novels in the Sunday Times magazine