So, that acknowledged, I shall stay reasonably clear of the life or death stuff i.e. cake, buns and gateaus. These are treacherous (and sticky) playing fields indeed and I should like to start on firm footing. Thus, I shall mainly look at my area of expertise. Some would say this was navel-gazing, but I declare myself multi-talented. Yes, Madam Speaker, Sir, I shall pass judgement upon books.
Law no 1.
All books should have pictures. Yes that's right. All of them! Aside perhaps, from Katie Price's last 'efforts', of course... No child should ever be exposed to that hideousness... And, quite frankly, she just looks so badly drawn! But yes, all those other luscious booky wooks should most definitely be illustrated. Who says picture books are for little kids? And I don't mean little tiny vignettes. I want all singing, all dancing, full-colour plates! Listen up, People. I have a dream...!
Law no. 2.
Anything different SHOULD be published. Yes, it may not sell, but shouldn't we have a looksee, rather than always publishing more of the same?! I want to see truly grotesque-looking children in books. I want to read stories with completely miserable endings. I want scary, wary, ugly fairies on every page, gosh darnit! Strange, odd or weird characters- Come one, come all, and let the children rejoice!
Law no. 3.
I want to see an end to this worrying mollycoddling of kids in literature. All those wonderful and inspirational, and horrible and terrible people in history were brought up on tales of all sorts... And they turned out to be wonderful and inspirational, or horrible and terrible just the same. Why, oh why, do we think this generation will be any different. Let kids be kids, with all the goodness and badness that that entails!
Law no. 4.
No book should ever have picture and text repeating eachother. This is something I strive to live by... partly because if I did not, I'd bring upon me the wrath of my good friend Claud, who's responsible for instilling this mantra in me... And then she'd almost certainly over throw me. And since, by now, you're all eating sweet meats instead of shreddies and laughing insanely at my latest wonderful witticism about the cow walking into a bar, I most certainly would not want that!
So, there we go. That's what I'd do if I were Prime Minister.
In other news; Huge congrats to Anthony Browne, the new children's laureate. He's only the second illustrator ever to grab the position; The first, of course, being Quentin Blake. So I'm quite, quite thrilled to see what he gets up to. Not to mention that he's the only UK illustrator I know of to have done a picture book almost entirely in b+w pencil, which (as far as I'm concerned) deserves a medal all of it's very own!
Here's a picture of the lesser spotted Hotbotamus; Complete with more commonly spotted 'my dog, Sheebs,' hairs all over it!