Cressida Cowell: New children’s laureate wants to ‘take on TV’
There is a real need for young people to be given the chance to really benefit from books and reading, and seeing the appointment of a well-known writer of young people’s popular fiction to the position of children’s laureate is a good thing.
Of course it is not only television which competes for children’s attention but all screen-based media. But the research that suggests a reading habit securely developed in childhood is likely to be maintained into adulthood means that it is vital that the decline in the popularity of books is addressed, especially at primary level.
Some of her points, like attending an event by an actual author, are likely to be successful. I have my reservations about free writing Fridays because perhaps more structure is needed than is outlined here. But certainly trying a number of different approaches to really interest children in books is the way to go in the modern age.
As a child, I adored books and I have maintained this as an adult, but I grew up in a world where there was a lot less to do than there is now and the world that books offered me was unique. Young people, exposed to video games and CGI in movies might have a different understanding, but I agree that showing young people the potential of books is extremely important and I wish her every success with this.