Cressida Cowell announced as Children’s Laureate

Bath Children’s Literature Festival is delighted that a festival favourite, Cressida Cowell, has been appointed as Waterstones’ Children’s Laureate. The creator of How to Train Your Dragon who is appearing at our festival this autumn, is the 11th Children’s Laureate in an illustrious line-up which started with the first incumbent, Quentin Blake.

The new Children’s Laureate was presented with her medal at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre where the newly crowned champion of children’s books revealed her to-do list for her two-year tenure. She began with two simple key messages: that books and reading are magic and that this magic must be made urgently available to absolutely everyone.

Cressida, who has spoken passionately in the past about the need to encourage children’s creativity and not to stifle it with micro-managing or over-correcting, then unveiled a ten-point charter.

1. Read for the joy of it

2. Access new books in schools, libraries and bookshops

3. Have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller

4. Own their own book

5. See themselves reflected in a book

6. Be read aloud to

7. Have some choice in what they read

8. Be creative for at least 15 minutes a week

9. see an author event at least once

10. Have a planet to read on

As part of her goals as Children’s Laureate Cressida wants to increase the time spent on creative writing in schools and to maintain school libraries as a valuable resource to feed children’s hungry imaginations.

Cressida will be making two appearances at our autumn festival. She will be appearing at The Forum as part of the schools’ programme on Friday 27 September and at the Guildhall on Saturday 28 September for a public event. Cressida will be talking about her latest book Knock Three Times, which is part of the popular series The Wizards of Once. She’ll also be sharing her top tips for writers and inspiring people to go and create their own characters.

Waterstones, sponsors of the Children’s Laureate, are also official booksellers for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival.

Bath Children’s Literature has a long and happy association with a series of Children’s Laureates. Writer and illustrator Lauren Child was the previous Laureate, also a previous guest illustrator for the festival’s programme cover artwork. There will be five former Children’s Laureates at this year’s festival; Malorie Blackman, Julia Donaldson, Chris Riddell, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson. All have been national champions for children’s books and all continue to inspire and entertain their legions of readers.

General booking opens on Friday 12 July.

To buy tickets to this year’s festival visit: or tel: 01225 463362. You can also buy tickets over the counter at Bath Box Office, Terrace Walk, Bath.

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