Wednesday 4th March, a calm and balmy evening and a surprisingly revamped walk through Kings Cross to the House of Illustration, a place that I think I would love to work - how inspiring.
What was I doing? I was going to an event to celebrate the work of Quentin Blake, the re-issue of his glorious Tell Me a Picture and also the first year of the Frances Lincoln imprint Wide Eyed Editions.
In a beautifully white and sparkly gallery, with a sparkly glass in hand, the invited audience filled the space in anticipation of Quentin's speech, a chance to see the illustrations from the book and a chance to view the most recent exhibition. The buzz was wonderful, we were all there because we love Quentin, because we love children's books and because of the stunning work that Frances Lincoln do to bring us the very best and most beautiful books we can imagine.
15 years ago Quentin Blake was made out first Children's Laureate, as the first he was able to shape the role, a privilege and one that he took seriously, making now a notable title. Back then no-one knew what the laureate should do and so Quentin made it up as he went along - his words and managed to get children's book illustration into the National Gallery!
In developing his story he created some stunning pictures, pictures that have stories in them that come together to make their reader think about stories in pictures and the name of the book. Today, 15 years on, this book is still with us and it has been reissued as part of Frances Lincoln's Wide Eyed Editions list - a list of simply stunning books of the very highest quality which make us realise just how important art is in books for children and in books for all ages.
Quentin explained to us how proud he is of the book, how proud he is that it still exists, that it is not just an exhibition but a tangible book to be read and loved, treasured too. Here is a book with educational value to love and treasure, a book that encourages questions to be asked and every reader to create their own story from its pages.
Thank you Quentin for inpsiring us all, thank you Frances Lincoln for a wonderful evening and I highly recommend not just this book but the new list, we will be featuring its titles over the coming months and years, hoping, that just as Tell Me A Picture it will endure and continue to bring great pleasure to us all.