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*** Free poster! See below ***

Hurrah! I can't even tell you how pleased I am that Malorie Blackman is our new Children's Laureate!

You can read Martin Chilton's article with its great photo of Malorie by Clara Molden. (They're @MalorieBlackman, @MartinChilton & @ClaraMolden on Twitter.)

Edit: I've had a couple people ask me if they could print out this image, below, to display in their libraries. So I've uploaded a free, printable poster online for you: the A4 file here (560kb) and the A3 file here (860kb). I never know what happens when I post things online, so if you could leave a note in the comments just to say the name of your school or library (and your name) and give me a wave, that would be ace! (Note: it's not a licensed Booktrust poster or anything, it's just my drawing I did for fun.)

One of the things Martin mentions is that Malorie is a huge Trekkie (she even has a Star Trek uniform!) so she understands cosplay and dressing up. And the thing that REALLY excites me is that Malorie grew up reading comics, loves comics and is having her Noughts and Crosses book made into a comic by John Aggs. Malorie gets it, she understands the idea of Reading for Pleasure, that kids who love reading will do better academically, even if they're not reading academic books. And she gets comics, that kids who read comics - comics of any genre, since comics are a medium, NOT a genre - become better reader and learn to love stories. What I find is that kids who read comics also want to MAKE comics in a way I don't see with other kinds of books; readers become authors and take ownership of reading.

...So what I'm saying is, COMICS FRIENDS, WE HAVE AN ALLY. Right now comics for kids is a small industry in this country, but there's massive room for growth, and it will totally give our kids one of the boosts they need. Give Malorie lots of support and help because, whew, being a laureate is no small job. Follow her on Twitter, keep an eye on what she says, and spread the word! The media don't give children's books and comics much space in reportage (as the last laureate, Julia Donaldson said here on her way out), but journalists almost always look to the laureate when something important needs to be said.

On another (slightly related note), I just got this awesome link from Ian McQue showing behind-the-scenes photos from the makings of Star Wars. My favourite is the two actors who play R2D2 and C3PO riding a mini motorbike together.

And one more thing, illustrator Cathy Brett has drawn this great picture of the day we met at Hay Festival! Thanks so much, Cathy, yay!!! She's @gingerdoodles on Twitter and you can read Cathy's write-up from the Hay Festival here and mine here.


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Dave Shelton
Jun. 5th, 2013 03:57 pm (UTC)
comics laureate
I had dinner with a group including Malorie Blackman on Thursday evening and we talked briefly about comics at one point. We have pretty different tastes (e.g. she's a big Sin City fan and I'm really not) but I plugged Nelson to her pretty strongly and she seemed interested.
Jun. 5th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
Re: comics laureate
Cool! Yes, I don't think I have the same taste in comics as her either, but hey, a comics laureate is a great thing! Glad you managed to get a plug in for Nelson, such a fabulous book. :)
Jun. 7th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the lovely poster, it will be going on display with Malorie's books at the Royal Grammar School, Guildford. Tamsin Farthing
Jun. 7th, 2013 02:05 pm (UTC)
Re: Poster
Yay, thanks, Tamsin! :)
Jun. 7th, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
Going Boldly
Thank you Sarah. The poster is going on display at Shebbear College and I've put it on the library website. It's great! Jane
Jun. 10th, 2013 10:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Going Boldly
Thank you, Jane! :D
Jun. 9th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
Comics are a medium not a genre
So true.

My daughter was struggling through "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at school so I bought her Kate Brown's Manga version. She recognised the drawing style from Spider Moon (DFC) and was actually excited about reading it. I also like the Classical Comics graphic novel versions of Shakespeare which come in the original text / modern English / quick text. If you have the pictures you don't have to read the stage directions or have the same problem of remembering who is who. Definitely a medium worth exploring if you are trying to persuade teenagers to read Shakespeare.

Manga version:

Classical comics:

On a more depressing note - I also got the "yes, but they need to start reading real books" comment from a teacher when I showed her the DFC. It is so frustrating when you suspect your child isn't making progress in reading because they just aren't that interested in the books at school. And an attitude that is incomprehensible here in France.

Still loving your blog (though I stopped reading for a while because I was exhausted by all your activity - but I've caught up now) and your tweets.


Jun. 10th, 2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Comics are a medium not a genre
Thanks for the links, Jill! Here, I'll post them again as active links:
Manga version:

Classical comics:

That's sad about the teacher rubbishing comics. It does seem a very backward thing to do. I hope she comes to realise how valuable they can be.

Heh, I've been exhausted by it, too. I thought about not blogging, but was too scared I'd forget everything if I didn't catalogue it. My blog is my brain's external hard drive.
Oct. 6th, 2015 11:13 am (UTC)
Malorie Blackman illustration
Hi Sarah

Thanks, as ever, for your generosity in providing a free, downloadable poster of Malorie Blackman! I'm using it in a display this month for Black History Month at Latymer Upper School Library.

Kind regards,

Terri McCargar
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah McIntyre

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