Writer and illustrator, Cressida Cowell, who has just been appointed the eleventh Children’s Laureate, in succession to Lauren Child (with whom she was best friends at school), was born in London but spent most summers on Little Colonsay, a remote uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland owned by her father, an hereditary peer and prominent environmentalist, who was at various times Chairman of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and the RSPB. “The house [in Scotland] was lit by candle-light, and there was no telephone or television, so I spent a lot of time drawing and writing stories,” she remembers.
Cowell read English at Keble College, Oxford and studied illustration at Brighton University.
She has a track record of being heavily involved with campaigns to get children reading. In 2014 she launched a Christmas Reading Challenge for the Reading Agency. In 2015 she was one of the key participants in a huge World Book Day event held in Preston North End Stadium. In 2016 she had a spell as BookTrust Writer-in-Residence.
Cressida Cowell’s own books require no special campaigning on their behalf. Her titles regularly appear in lists of bestselling children’s books.
The Cressida Cowell Waterstones Children’s Laureate Charter: