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Chris Riddell to give the 2017 Philippa Pearce Lecture,on Friday 8th September.

Photo Credit:  Tom Pilston The celebrated, multi- award winning illustrator and political cartoonist has chosen to call the lecture  'The Age of the Beautiful Book.’ 

Chris Riddell has illustrated over 150 books, collaborating with some of the best known children’s authors of recent decades, including Neil Gaiman and Michael Rosen. Chris has won two CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals, the UK librarians’ annual award for the best-illustrated children’s book, and three Nestlé Smarties Book Prizes. On 9 June 2015 he was appointed the UK Children’s Laureate. During his two-year tenure, he championed creativity, the importance of visual literacy, and the role of libraries in schools. He called on people to enjoy the “joy of doodling” by drawing every day, setting the example with his own fantastic ‘Laureate’s Log’, a whimsical visual diary shared on social media, which has recently been published in a compendium called Travels with My Sketchbook.

In the 2017 Philippa Pearce Lecture, Chris will talk about how words and pictures work together for a reader both on traditional page and how he believes this continues to be true in a digital age. He will explore how books are ever more covetable as objects in their own right, as well as valued for the words and illustrations inside, and also how libraries remain vital as repositories for these beautiful productions.

The prestigious Philippa Pearce Lecture is an annual event that celebrates excellence in literature for children. It provides a platform for the very best children’s authors, poets and illustrators to reflect on their art. Always thought-provoking, the lectures have tackled such topics as the significance of time, the place of fear, and what poetry is for.

The lectures were established in 2007 by the family, friends and colleagues of the highly distinguished children’s author, Philippa Pearce. They attract a regular and wide-ranging audience of academics, writers, publishers and lovers of children’s literature. A video recording is always made available. Previous speakers include: Allan Ahlberg (2016) Meg Rosoff (2015) Frank Cottrell Boyce (2014) Kevin Crossley-Holland (2013) Malorie Blackman (2012) Philip Pullman (2011) Michael Morpurgo (2010) Michael Rosen (2009).  The inaugural lecture took the form of a tribute Philippa Pearce and her work, with talks by Julia Eccleshare, Victor Watson and David Wood, who worked closely with Philippa on the script of his play of Tom’s Midnight Garden. The actor Samuel West, who had happy childhood memories of hearing her read, kindly volunteered to do some readings

THE BRITISH AUTHOR PHILIPPA PEARCE is probably best known for the children’s book Tom’s Midnight Garden, which won the Carnegie Medal in 1958. Like many of Philippa’s other works, the novel explores concepts of time, as well as connections between past and present, and between parents and children. All are deeply imbued with a sense of place – the East Anglian landscape where Philippa’s family lived for generations, and where she spent most of her life.

“She was one of the very finest writers British children’s literature has ever had, and everything she wrote has a touch of the particular vision and understanding of human nature that was hers alone.”Philip Pullman

The Philippa Pearce Lectures are held in association with Homerton College, Cambridge.mich

The lecture will take place at 5.00pm on Friday 8th of September in the Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, Cambridge. As always, after the lecture there will be a short wine reception.  The lecture is free but tickets need to be reserved.

For further information about the lecture and to reserve tickets please go to http://www.pearcelecture.com/

Photo Credit:  Tom Pilston

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