THE 2017 LECTURE, entitled The Age of the Beautiful Book, was given on September 8th in the Mary Allan Building, Homerton College, Cambridge by Chris Riddell, the celebrated, multi-award-winning illustrator and political cartoonist.
Chris 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.