A look at Anthony Browne

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By Charlotte RonaldsActing Editor, Child Education PLUS

Anthony Browne has been named the sixth children’s laureate. He talks to Charlotte Ronalds about visual literacy and just what it is with him and gorillas…

Anthony Browne

If you had asked Anthony Browne two years ago whether he’d like to be the next children’s laureate, he’d probably have said no. He’d have been polite, but insisted that Michael Rosen looked too comfortable in the role; that he was an impossible act to follow. Browne’s also, whether consciously or not, a man who seems to shy away from the limelight. So the inevitable media attention and commitments that come with the job might not have been that welcome either.

Yet a lot can happen in two years, and here Browne is, looking remarkably at ease as the new children’s laureate. So what made him change his mind?

He smiles. ‘I thought it would be great to be able to promote picture books and talk about picture books and to encourage people to value picture books,’ he says. ‘But at the back of my mind there were always the questions, Am I going to be good enough? Am I going to be articulate enough? After all, I spend nearly every day sitting in my studio painting pictures; I’m not a person who talks! I’m someone who sits in a studio and makes books.’

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