Data released by Public Lending Right (PLR) has revealed that "Horrid Henry" illustrator Tony Ross was the UK's "most borrowed" illustrator across public libraries last year.
The inaugural chart consisting of the 50 most-borrowed illustrators, also includes Quentin Blake, Shirley Hughes, and current Children’s Laureate Lauren Child.
The top three "most borrowed" illustrators on the list have each accrued over one million loans. Following Ross, in second place is recent winner of the inaugural Bookbug Picture Book Prize, Nick Sharratt, and, in third, "Gruffalo" illustrator Axel Scheffler.
Ross expressed his delight on taking the title of "most borrowed" illustrator: “WOW! That is wonderful, although I would think I have had some help from fantastic authors, such as Jeanne Willis, David Walliams, and Francesca Simon. Thank you library users. I’m surprised, proud, and delighted.”
Completing the top 10, were: Alex Brychta, Quentin Blake, Mick Inkpen, Korky Paul, Lucy Cousins, Liz Pichon and David Roberts.
Children’s laureate Child ranked 16th on the list of 50, beating last year's children's laureate Chris Riddell, ranked 45th. She said: “It's wonderful that the success of illustrators is now recognised in this PLR ranking. Illustrations play such a significant role in the enjoyment of books and libraries play such an important role in bringing books to children throughout society. The recognition that PLR now offers illustrators for their work is a much welcome and important step in highlighting the unique contribution of the illustrator to the success of the book."
Sarah McIntyre of Pictures Mean Business, an equal credit campaign for illustrators and writers, also welcomed publication of the list, adding that she hoped publishers would update their own data systems so readers can find information about books' illustrators as easily as they do their authors.
“Money earned from PLR is a real lifeline to so many hardworking illustrators, but most of the people who tell stories through pictures in books struggle to build a name for themselves professionally," she said. "I'm thrilled to learn the PLR team have compiled a list of the top 50 most borrowed illustrators from UK public libraries. I hope one day in the near future, publishers will update their data systems and people will be able to find this information on illustrators as easily as they can find it on writers.”
PLR is run by the British Library and gives authors the legal right to receive payment from government each time their books are loaned through the public library system. In February 2017 PLR distributed £6m to 22,202 authors at a rate-per-loan of 7.82 pence. Its funding remains at £6.6m up to 2019.
The full list of the Top 50 Most Borrowed Illustrators for 2015/16 is as below:
1. Tony Ross 18. David Melling 35. Guy Parker-Rees
2. Nick Sharratt 19. Michael Foreman 36. Sophy Williams
3. Axel Scheffler 20. Emma Chichester Clark 37. Jez Alborough
4. Alex Brychta 21. Sue Hendra 38. Dr Seuss
5. Quentin Blake 22. Adrian Reynolds 39. Jill Murphy
6. Mick Inkpen 23. Roger Hargreaves 40. Lee Wildish
7. Korky Paul 24. Martin Brown 41. Tim Warnes
8. Lucy Cousins 25. Ben Cort 42. Stephen Cartwright
9. Liz Pichon 26. Rod Campbell 43. Shirley Hughes
10. David Roberts 27. Garry Parsons 44. Anthony Browne
11. Lydia Monks 28. Jean Adamson 45. Chris Riddell
12. Eric Hill 29. Roger Priddy 46. Mike Gordon
13. Rachel Wells 30. Emily Gravett 47. Eric Carle
14. David McKee 31. Oliver Jeffers 48. Sam Lloyd
15. Emma Dodd 32. Georgie Ripper 49. Jane Chapman
16. Lauren Child 33. Debi Gliori 50. Alex T Smith
17. Steve Smallman 34. Dav Pilkey