A new book from Walker Books celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Children’s Laureate. Flights of Fancy: Stories, Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children’s Laureates
features work from Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson, Malorie Blackman, Chris Riddell and Lauren Child. Each has had two years in the role, bringing their own passion to the job. I still remember hearing Anne Fine saying (and I paraphrase) that when adults read a bad book, they say ‘that was a bad book’ while children say ‘I don’t like reading’. That helped crystallise the way I felt about children’s books: only the best will do!
This beautiful anthology (published in February 2019) will inspire children to let their imaginations soar, with rare insights such as Quentin Blake about his weird and wonderful beasts, an original short story from Jacqueline Wilson, and witty, read-aloud poems by Michael Rosen that play with language and shape. Part of the proceeds go to BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, each year reaching 3.4 million children across the UK with books, resources and support to develop a love of reading.
At Wenlock Books, one of our primary aims has always been to encourage children to enjoy books… and to give them a sense of ownership about the bookshop. From babes-in-arms until they start school, children and their parents or carers can come on a Friday morning to listen to stories and sing songs on the red rug in our upstairs room; we’ve also run groups for older children over the years, and I’ve been deeply impressed by the way the children of all ages have encouraged each other in so many ways.
Our StoryTime sessions continue but I no longer run groups for the older children (though if anyone would like to do this in the bookshop, do get in touch!). Because of this, I’m even more delighted by the publication of Flights of Fancy which I know will encourage parents and their children to truly celebrate the art of reading.
Anna Dreda, Wenlock Books, High Street, Much Wenlock
‘More than just a bookshop’