Extensive profile of Jacqueline Wilson by Kate Kellaway:
She is often described as resembling a goth granny or a witch but I see her as a short-sighted (eyes sparkling behind specs) good fairy... ...
Pictures from last week's Laureate announcement:
Guest speaker Sir Christopher Frayling of the Arts Council; JW; James Heneage; Chris Meade; Nicolette Jones
Three of the past four Laureates together (Anne Fine being the missing laureate)
The three young competition winners who won the chance to meet the new Laureate
Nicolette Jones, in her brief address at the Laureate presentation, called Jacqueline Wilson a 'Queen of Hearts'
I had the great pleasure of chairing a conscientious, authoritative and thoughtful selection panel, a fine bunch of people, namely Sharon Sperling of the Youth Libraries Group, critic John Mullan, academic Kim Reynolds and booksellers James Kerr and Wayne Winstone. They took very seriously their responsibilities to the Laureateship, to literature and to children, and we had a long and impassioned debate which was evidence not of dissatisfaction with the final choice but of the calibre of the contenders. The good news for the future of the Laureateship is that worthy candidates appear to be in no danger of running out.
We all know that Picasso spent a lifetime learning to draw like a child. JW�s hard-learned lifetime�s skill is to sound like a child. She performs the rare and difficult feat of tackling deep emotions and harsh realities in a clear and simple and entertaining child�s voice to which enormous numbers of children respond. She offers them hope, empathy and humour, has an unequalled rapport with her existing readers and unequalled potential to make new readers. She is already a tireless ambassador for the joy of reading and so widely loved as to have made herself already something of an honorary Laureate. She is deservedly, among children�s authors, a Queen of Hearts... ...