Wilson, Kureishi join Ezra on honours list

Children's author Jacqueline Wilson has been made a dame in this year's round of honours. She joins Hanif Kureishi, who receives a CBE for services to literature and drama, and Hampshire County Council's director of recreation and heritage Yinnon Ezra, who receives an MBE for services to local government, on the New Year's Honours List.

Wilson's award was made in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the world of literature for which she has demonstrated "sustained commitment". Wilson said: "I think it's a great honour, not just for me, but for all the many children's writers who care passionately about their work and try hard to introduce children to the joys of reading."

Ezra has helped transform Hampshire's libraries into "Discovery Centres", but has been criticised for questioning the place of fiction books within libraries; Ezra, is also a board member of the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). He said: "I'm surprised, delighted and really honoured by my award. Everything I have achieved in local government has happened because of the dedication and commitment for improvement by councillors and colleagues. My driving passion is finding new and innovative ways of widening the participation and involvement of the whole community in the services I'm privileged to be responsible for. Sometimes this involves the council having to make tough decisions, with a view to both making scarce resources stretch, and transforming services and broadening their appeal."

Eric Hill, the creator of the children's book character, Spot, also receives an OBE in recognition of his work.