The Waterstones Children’s Laureate is the foremost representative of children’s literature, awarded biannually to a renowned writer or illustrator in recognition of exceptional talent. Managed by BookTrust – the UK’s largest children’s reading charity – and sponsored by Waterstones, this prestigious role celebrates creativity and storytelling, promotes the vital importance of reading and children’s literature, and champions the right of every child to enjoy a lifetime enriched with books and stories. Each Laureate brings their own passion and creativity to their tenure.
At today’s ceremony, Joseph Coelho – who is acclaimed for his work including the Luna Loves picture books, middle grade series Fairy Tales Gone Bad, YA verse novel The Girl Who Became a Tree, as well as poetry collections for all ages including Overheard in a Tower Block and Poems Aloud – revealed that his tenure will celebrate the power of poetry, showcase new authors and illustrators to diversify bookshelves and inspire bookmakers of the future, and champion public libraries and the role they play in communities. Coelho also performed a new poem written to mark the occasion, entitled "The Power of a Poem".