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Children's Laureate 2015-2017
One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Chris Riddell was our Author and Illustrator of the Month in December 2010. Click here to find out more.
Chris Riddell, the 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate, is an accomplished artist and the political cartoonist for the Observer. He has enjoyed great acclaim for his books for children. His books have won a number of major prizes, including the 2001 and 2004 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse won the Costa Children's Book Award 2013. His work for Macmillan includes the bestselling Goth Girl books, the Ottoline series, The Emperor of Absurdia, Wendel and the Robots and, with Paul Stewart, the Muddle Earth books, the Scavenger series and the Blobheads series. Chris lives in Brighton with his family.
Read more about Chris Riddell here.
Author photo © Tom Pilston Booktrust
Chris Riddell on John Tenniel : "Before I knew a thing about him, John Tenniel was a hero of mine, or rather, I should say, his white rabbit was. As a child I copied Tenniel’s illustrations from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland obsessively, particularly his drawing of the White Rabbit in waistcoat and frock coat, umbrella tucked under one arm and a pocket watch in paw, a look of suppressed panic in his eye. I loved analysing the shading, intricate lines of cross-hatching, the folds of the sleeve, the tilt of the head, that wide-eyed rabbit stare. Tenniel was one of the reasons I became an illustrator."
October 2019 Book of the Month | A new book by Chris Riddell is something to celebrate, especially one that gives his unique imagination free rein, as this does. There’s all sorts of trouble in the Kingdom of Thrynne: in the town of Troutwine, King Rat and his followers use threats of violence to extort money from its citizens; in the city of Nightingale, the Clockmaker’s sinister army of tin men enforces his tyrannical rule; and even in the village of Bream, deep in the Great Wood, the magical trees and the giants they shelter are in danger. In the very best tradition of fantasy adventures, three children and three bespoke enchanted objects are all that stand between magic and its destruction. The story positively crackles with invention and each chapter seems to introduce a wonderful new character before the storylines converge for a thrilling climax (fortunately one that leaves the door open for sequels). Fairytale adventure has never seemed so polished or ingenious. Young readers are spoiled for choice now when it comes to magical adventure, and readers of Guardians of Magic must also look out for Cressida Cowell’s Wizards of Once series.
Best-selling Goth Girl is back for an action-packed new adventure in this stunningly produced volume by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell which has the additional delight of a mini-book, Fable of a Faun, tucked into it. Lord Goth is turning Ghastly-Gorm Hall into the venue for Gothstock, a sensational music festival that will match his home. Naturally, Ada Goth is thrilled at the thought but will it all go to plan? In both words and pictures Chris Riddell creates an amazing cast of characters and the most original escapades in which they are all entangled.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | Illustrator and author Chris Riddell has created a rich anthology of poems from the past to the present all of which have a special meaning for him. Grouping them under headings including ‘Musings’, ‘Youth’, ‘Imaginings’, ‘Nature’ and ‘Endings’ he has added an illustration to each often giving an insight into his own reading of it. Passages from Shakespeare and classic poems such as John Keats’s Ode to a Nightingale and Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky sit comfortably alongside contemporary poems such as Rachel Rooney’s The Language of Cat and Jackie Kay’s Something Rhymed while the inclusion of the words of Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne and Nick Cave’s Love Letter adds a refreshing fresh touch.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2018 | Former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell weaves a wonderful fantasy adventure around some of the best loved fairy story characters in this hugely attractive and thoroughly entertaining picture story book. Little Green Cape sets out with a handful of useful things including a strong straight stick, comfortable clumpy boots and an invitation to a party. Once in the wild woods she is in a magical world where even the trees have faces, full of surprising characters. There’s a Beast looking for his Beauty, three Bears who are mistrustful of strangers, a talking harp, three little pigs, seven dwarves and many more. Young readers will love both feeling they know the stories being surprised by some of the turns of events.
This is the fourth adventure for Ottoline and her best friend Mr Munroe, and it is every bit as enchanting, witty and surprising as the first. The emphasis is on friendship in this story: with her parents still roving the world for interesting items to add to their ever-growing collection of objects, Ottoline holds a dinner party. Guests include the dashing Purple Fox, a new friend, who has introduced Ottoline to some of the city’s most exciting inhabitants and hidden secrets. She’s able to repay him by drawing his attention to something lovely that he’s failed to see. Chris Riddell’s illustrations are as dazzling as ever; it’s worth lingering over every page to revel in the fluency of his line and to look out for the myriad little details. Ottoline is a delight for readers of all ages.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2017 Best-selling Goth Girl is back for an action-packed new adventure in this stunningly produced volume by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell which has the additional delight of a mini-book, Fable of a Faun, tucked into it. Lord Goth is turning Ghastly-Gorm Hall into the venue for Gothstock, a sensational music festival that will match his home. Naturally, Ada Goth is thrilled at the thought but will it all go to plan? In both words and pictures Chris Riddell creates an amazing cast of characters and the most original escapades in which they are all entangled. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2017 Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony by Chris Riddell A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge This Book Isn't Safe! by Colin Furze The Grotlyn by Benji Davies Billy and the Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of The Wizard of Oz by Michael Morpurgo The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf Birthday Boy by David Baddiel
Opening Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright is like opening a treasure box. With its gorgeous metallic edges and golden detail it certainly looks like one, and inside are riches! Chris Riddell seems to surpass himself with each new Goth Girl story, nearly every page features one or more illustrations, each one a small masterpiece of character and drama. As well as the visual invention and wit, there are literary jokes galore. While some of these may go over the heads of young readers, though they‘re likely to colour future readings of classic books, it doesn’t matter because there is so much in the plot to entertain. A host of authors and dogs arrive at Ghastly-Gorm Hall for Lord Goth’s Literary Dog Show, could one of these canine competitors be causing trouble? Ada and her friends investigate. A treat for readers of all ages, and don’t miss the cameo appearance by the author himself, aka Sir Christopher Riddle-of-the Sphinx RA, well-known illustrator of literary dog shows and founder of the Arts and Crufts movement. Sublime! ~ Andrea Reece
Award-winning author/ illustrator Chris Riddell has created a hilarious sequel to the much-loved Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse and this time it has a topical theme. Ada lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall, a place where magic rules and nothing is quite what it seems. The Ghastly-Gorm Garden Party is coming soon and the high spot will be the Ghastly-Gorm Bake Off. Celebrity chefs with some very remarkable magic tricks will be competing. But, when a group of vampires swoop down for some tasty action of their own, it looks as if all the plans will be scuppered. Luckily, Ada Goth is a very remarkable girl…Chris Riddell’s bake-off creations are sensationally realised in his wonderful illustrations. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Bestselling author/illustrator Chris Riddell creates a fantastical world in which Ada Goth, daughter of the strange Lord Goth of Ghastly-Gorm Hall, is growing up. Ada’s mother is dead and her father is very, very strange! Surrounded by a motley crew of servants and many ghosts, Ada’s life is lonely until she meets Ishmael, a ghostly mouse. Soon Ada and Ishmael are off on some very special adventures! Magic and invention pour forth in this splendidly entertaining story which is also packed full of jokes. Chris Riddell’s illustrations bring everything he imagines to life. Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2013
As 2017 dawns it’s hard to think of a better book to slip into your pocket than 100 Hugs by Chris Riddell. This neat little hardback contains 100 black and white illustrations by Riddell, a virtuoso of the form, and each one will amaze with its delicacy, skill and fluidity. There’s fun to be had in spotting characters – Pinocchio and Geppetto, Alice and the White Rabbit, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, the three little pigs – but the real joy comes just from enjoying the beauty and emotion packed into each drawing. It’s a book that will surprise and entertain no matter how many times it’s opened, and one that will leave readers feeling they too have been hugged. ~ Andrea Reece