Children’s laureate Lauren Child has called for kids to have "more space to create" and warned about the negative impact of social media on the younger generation whilst giving the annual BookTrust lecture last night (19th October).
Speaking at the event, held at 66 Portland Place in London, Child also raised the need for children’s literature to be taken more “seriously”.
“We live in such a busy world and in a way such a judgemental world,” she said. “Everybody is liking us and not liking us on the internet, we need some stillness and we need time, to come up with thoughts and connect with thoughts.”
She added: “This is where ideas come from, this is where inventions come from, this is where evolution comes from. All these amazing things are about actually being able to sit with a thought and connect things up and weave it all together. I’d really love children to have a bit more space to create.”
The author of the Charlie and Lola series of books also said the importance and power of an illustrated book was often undervalued.
“I think children’s literature and children’s illustration is not taken particularly seriously and an illustrated book is often looked down on, but you can get a lot across in a children’s illustrated book and it does lots of different jobs because the words are telling you one thing and the illustration can take it to a different level,” she said.
“There's not enough understanding of the sophistication of children's books. If we don’t understand that, then we don’t understand how sophisticated children are and they are amazingly sophisticated and they think very deeply and powerfully about things. And we do them a disservice if we don't see that.”
She added that children’s authors are often writing for anyone from 0-90 “because often there's somebody reading the book to child or someone choosing the book for the child.”
BookTrust’s c.e.o., Diana Gerald, said it was “vital that views and issues within the children’s reading space continue to be debated and discussed” and added that its annual lecture was “a very positive platform in which to do that”.