Jackie French – Australian Children’s Laureate
Every two years a new Children’s Laureate is announced and for the next two years we have the wonderful Jackie French filling that role.
Jackie may be known best for her Diary of a Wombat books, but her back catalogue is one of great variety coving many ages and many genres. She has some wonderful historical books for middle grade readers.
Other picture books,
And a fun series about Phreddie the Fairy who is much more my sort of fairy than the usual ones we get to read about.
She also has some wonderful YA titles.
“This is a chance to give back,” she said of the high-profile appointment. “When I was a very, very scared teenager my wonderful teacher gave me books and also offered me a bed to sleep in. And if it hadn’t been for her, and her courage, I would not be a writer and I might not even be here today.
“In a little way over the next two years I want to give back what I have been given…Every child in Australia needs a book to go to bed with, and a bed to read that book in,” she said. “Every child in Australia can learn to read and for kids like me who are dyslexic, with spelling that you might call ‘original’, and whose work always looks like a wombat has sat on it, never feel that you are dumb, never feel that you have failed.”
This can only be a good thing for children’s literature.