09:23 08 June 2011
Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson has been revealed as the new children's laureate.
The role, which has a bursary of £15,000, is awarded every two years to an eminent writer or illustrator of children's books, to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field.
Donaldson will take over from Anthony Browne, who has held the post since 2009.
Julia said of her new role:
"I hope to find every opportunity to be a spokesperson and advocate for children's books and reading.
"With my background in plays and song-writing, I am particularly keen to develop projects which link books with drama and music, and to explore the ways performance can help children enjoy reading and grow in confidence."
She has also expressed a wish to help save British libraries recently threatened with closure.
Julia began her career writing songs for television, but in 1993, one of her songs, A Squash and a Squeeze was made into a book, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
The pair then went on to collaborate on the best-selling picture book, The Gruffalo,
To date, she has written more than 120 books for children and teenagers, including Zog, The Snail and the Whale and Room on the Broom.
Previous children's laureate include Michael Rose, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Morpurgo and Quentin Blake.
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