Anthony Browne has been appointed as the new Children’s Laureate, a post awarded every two years to a children’s writer to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. Here’s the story, with accompanying video clip, on the BBC website.
As a cartoonist, I was pleased by this appointment because Browne, like Quentin Blake, who was the first Children’s Laureate in 1999, illustrates his books as well as writing them. But as a dad, I was even more chuffed, because in our house we love Browne’s books, such as Gorilla and Zoo. He’s one of the country’s best children’s illustrators, his images packed with hidden jokes that you often only see on rereading (did you spot the world map above?)
Just as significantly as the books, Browne has given us “The Shape Game”, which we found out about via the book of the same name, and which he talks about in the BBC clip. The game, which has got us through many a long train journey, involves one person drawing a random shape and the second player using their imagination to turn it into something else, be it an animal, object or whatever flight of fancy you can come up with. It’s incredibly simple, but very rewarding.