New children’s laureate Chris Riddell to visit Muswell Hill’s Children’s Bookshop

Author Chris Riddell signs copies of his books at Muswell Hill Children's Bookshop. Picture: Polly H

Author Chris Riddell signs copies of his books at Muswell Hill Children's Bookshop. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

As part of Independent Bookshop Week, the writer will be signing books and previewing his newest work, says Kate Agnew.

Last week author, illustrator and cartoonist Chris Riddell was crowned the new children’s laureate, joining an illustrious list of writers celebrated for their outstanding achievement in children’s literature.

Awarded every two years, past holders including Michael Morpurgo, Anthony Browne and Malorie Blackman have used the honour to promote different aspects of children’s reading.

Here at the Children’s Bookshop we’re sure that Chris will have his own ideas about where to put his energies. And as we are busy gearing up for Independent Bookshop Week, which runs from June 20 – 27, we’re particularly thrilled that, as part of the nationwide week celebrating independent bookselling, we’ll have a visit from Chris.

He’s long been a great favourite with our customers and to have him with us is always special, but will be even more so on this occasion and we’ll all be in celebratory mood. To make things even more exciting for North London residents, Chris will be signing not only his gloriously charismatic backlist, but also a new book with a wonderful local connection. He will be here with Crouch End based author Daniel Whelan who was winner of the Macmillan Write Now prize for a first children’s book with his novel Box of Demons.

It’s a really meaningful occasion for us as Chris and I were judges together for the hotly contested award. We chose Box of Demons for its high octane adventure, intriguingly mischevious Demon characters, and for its laugh aloud humour. I didn’t know Daniel was local when we picked his novel, but was very pleased to discover he lived in Crouch End. Chris has created a fantastic pop-up illustration for the book which is launched in independent bookshops only in June as part of the Independent Bookshop Week festivities.

Independent Bookshop Week is always an exciting time for us and this year we’ll also be setting up some stimulating events with a selection of our local schools, including a visit from broadcaster Simon Mayo. He will be talking to a class of Year 6 students about the writing of his dramatic Itch series in which an ordinary schoolboy begins by trying to collect every single chemical element and ends in a battle to save the world. We’re also delighted to be setting up an event to be podcast for school children across the country with none other than Francesca Simon, who will be bringing out her final, eagerly awaited Horrid Henry book. Francesca is another long-standing friend of the Children’s Bookshop and was photographed here holding one of her favourite books for a promotional poster for Independent Bookshop Week a couple of years ago. We love the fact that the week offers us, in collaboration with some great authors and publishers, these opportunities to give back to the schools we work with and the community we’re part of, who go on supporting this particular Independent Bookshop every week of the year.