The Children’s Book Show 2010 came to a triumphant end last night (17 November, 2010) with a sell out event at L’Institut Français, London. The popular event was also part of the Youth Festival.
Quentin Blake, the inaugural Children’s Laureate who has also been referred to as a ‘national institution’ and one of France’s most highly acclaimed illustrators illustrator Francois Place (best known in the UK for his illustrations for Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse) talked about their work, showing exquisite examples, and then treated an enthusiastic audience to an amazing drawing duel.
A wonderful evening watching and listening to two people who are good friends but also expert in their fields. They so much enjoyed their work and seemed unruffled by their fame. But then an audience of children are always good at asking the questions that you hadn’t thought about and didn’t really want to share on a wide scale. But Quentin and Francois just answered away.
Seeing a book in pictures first, meant that for Francois, he “ …wondered where the words would go?” and Quentin liked to tell the story in pictures and leave the words to children’s minds.
The artists took it in turns to transform each other’s drawings, keeping the audience guessing what would happen next. Much laughter later a splendid wordless story had been created on one sheet of paper. At the end of the show there was a round of applause when one young person asked the artists to do another drawing. The artists took up the challenge and picked up their pins, giving the audience another chance to see two masters of their craft at work.
A finale to a national programme that has seen children across the country involved with authors and illustrators, a great way to explore children’s books and we look forward to 2011 in even more places.
Sue Martin, Dolphin Booksellers – the best in children’s books always on line