Chris Riddell The Children's Laureate | Win a Tootsa MacGinty Voucher!

At the beginning of June, award winning British author, illustrator, and Observer political cartoonist, Chris Riddell was appointed the new Children’s Laureate 2015-2017.

Since the 1980s he has delighted both adults and children alike with his distinctive, fantastical line drawings, winning many awards for his work including:

– The Nestlé Children’s Book Prize (Ottoline and the Yellow Cat  and The Emperor of Absurdia)
– The Kate Greenaway Medal (Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter and Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver”)
– The Red House Children’s Book Award (Ottoline and the Yellow Cat).
– The widely acclaimed Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse won the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2013.

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Illustrations from The Emperor of Absurdia

On accepting the title he vowed to keep the visual literacy of children the focus of his term, “I am humbled to take on this role after the giants that have come before me. I want to put the joy of creativity, of drawing every day, of having a go and being surprised at what one can achieve with just a pencil and an idea at the heart of my term as Laureate.

His publishers Pan MacMillan said, “He will also work to widely celebrate and defend school libraries and librarians who, together with parents, match children with books that will inspire and help them grow into great readers and thinkers. He intends to emphasise the excitement of illustration at live events, both alone and with unexpected collaborators from across the arts.”


(from the Ottoline series)

Pan MacMillan have loads of wonderful Chris Riddell activities on their website, including a sneak peak into his sketchbook to see how certain characters came to life.

We love these ones –

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If you want to keep up with his most recent sketches, check out his twitter – he often posts new ideas there – @chrisriddell50

Riddell’s attitude of “just give it a go and see what happens” is right up our street – that’s why drawing is so much fun! Here are some crafty supplies that will get your budding artist in the mood to create –

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1 Illustration School Let’s Draw book & sketchpad by Sachiko Umoto // 2 Handmade Charlotte DIY craft storage solutions // 3 The Eco – Easel by Eco-Kids available from Babesta // 4 Fluorescent Coloured Pencil set from MOMA // 5 The artist’s ultimate table – the Deluxe Art Centre from Guide Craft // 6 Your Sketchbook Your Self from Tate Modern // 7 The Tools Of A Genius pencil case from Happy Jackson // 8 Natural soy wax Crayon Rocks from Bambino Green // 9 Glitter Glue pens from Tiger

Fancy winning a Tootsa MacGinty voucher? Then read on …

We just know that there are lots of Tootsa-MacGinty-wearing artists out there and we really want to celebrate all your talents!
Design an outfit for Sven the fox, Polly polar bear, Claude the lion, Basil bear, or Maude the cat!


Our favourites will be shared on the blog and one lucky artist will win some Tootsa goodies!

How to enter:
Choose and print out your Tootsa character, design their outfit and share their new looks using the hashtag #tootsaprintables or email them to us at
Closes at the end of July.

Happy Drawing!

by Lisa Dwyer Hogg

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